The Builder Magazine
April 1916 - Volume II - Number 4
MASONIC SOCIAL SERVICE: AN INVESTMENT IN
BY BRO. T. W. HUGO, 33d, MINNESOTA
(Hear now a story of the Infant Welfare Work of the Scottish Rite Bodies of Duluth,
written at our request, and telling of the beginnings, the growth, the methods, and
organization of the work, together with something of its results. We present it as the
first of a number of examples of Masonic social service, not only because the work of
the Duluth Masons deserves to be widely known, but also, and chiefly, that others
may go and do likewise— if not in this particular field, then in some other that lies
ready at hand. The following letter from the Commissioner of Public Safety explains
itself:— "Dear Mr. Hugo: I am in receipt of your report of the Infant Welfare work
being done by the Scottish Rite bodies of this city. They are most certainly to be
congratulated on the excellent showing made, and the City Government, and I believe
our citizens generally, fully appreciate the good work you are doing and the
responsibility you have assumed. Very truly yours, B. Silberstein.")
A YELLOW pup ! But wait a minute; I am a believer in fairies, and I like to begin a
story with "Once upon a time." Although, to tell the truth, I am scared to death to get
down to my vernacular and such common subjects as I shall have to touch upon in my
story when I think of what the writers on "isms and aints," the fourth dimension, the
occult, and so forth, will think, and the strain the muscles of their noses will have to
stand to pull them down to the normal level again. But "orders is orders," and Ye
Editor gets what he asked for, and I'll bet the whole bunch will back me up. If I use
the personal pronoun it is not egotistically, but to avoid the feeling of immodesty if I
did not, because the personal element comes into the beginning of the story.
So now, "once upon a time" I was the presiding officer of the four bodies of the
Scottish Rite of the Valley of Duluth, and had been in that position for twenty-two
years. I had seen the Rite built up from the nine Charter members to about nine
hundred; I realized that our strength did not increase in proportion to our increase in
membership; that our sympathy for one another did not extend any farther than when
we had less than half that number; that if we tried to be brotherly to more than about
so many we were always handicapped by wondering if "that really was his name, and
who is he anyhow"; that our attendance did not increase in proportion, nor was our
ceremonial work done any better; that we seemed to be about at a standstill in most
everything but increase in membership. We had some money, were never
parsimonious, met in a Temple that was entirely paid for before we held a meeting in
it; but there was something lacking, and I wondered if it might be myself— so i)egan to
fuss. Having held the office so long, I had become the Masonic father confessor,
general consulting Mason, Masonic probate Judge, and Masonic Probation Policeman
of our town. Now we have the background scene set, and in comes a poor mother late
one afternoon about six years ago with a sick child; she had been to see some doctors,
all of whom told her she must place the baby in a hospital right away; but having no
money or friends they might as well have told her she ought to feed the baby on
champagne, but some person sent her to me. The baby was fixed up for over night and
everybody made as comfortable as possible— except me. I was mad all through, my
red hair stood straight up on end, my nerves stuck out through my skin, and even my
funny bone couldn't see a joke in it.
I played Booth in Macbeth, fumed and stamped, but the tragedy kept the stage until I
made up my mind that if I wanted to get any sleep I would have to find an antidote,
when the thought struck me that if anything would make a fellow forget his other
troubles it would be a smoke of one of our Brother Buck's cigars, and I made him a
pleasant call, lit one of the stogas, became sick, and was about ready to go home
entirely straightened up when-Bang, Yelp, Whoop! and a youngster rushed in with a
dirty, mongrel, yellow pup in his arms. The pup had been run over by a motorcycle
and the feelings both of the boy and the pup had been hurt, in addition to the hind leg
of the pup; my friend of the medicinal cigar said, "Well, take that howling brute down
to the dog hospital," and the incident closed and the pup disappears from scene. I soon
took my departure, arrived home, went to bed, and everything seemed settled -until in
my sleep the pup began to eat the baby, and before I could reach for a stick I fell out
of the bed and barked my shins. After that I couldn't go to sleep again for some time,
but dropped off when I had made a combination of nine hundred men, a baby hospital,
a work of interest for these men to be engaged in, and the bigger idea of trying to give
the most helpless portion of animate nature a better chance for their white alley-
together with the development of the helpful spirit latent in Masonry.
By the next meeting I had mapped out a fine speech to be delivered to the assembled
Brethren, I gathered up the usual Masonic platitudes, dwelling on "spreading the
cement of brotherly love" over everything, was obliged to deal in generalities because
I did not know exactly what was wanted or what would best suit, as I foolishly
consulted with several Doctors and each one told me a different specific to use. But I
was game, and after the regular business I got up and stated that 1 had asked them to
be present on this occasion for the puipose of;— and then I was off, but soon forgot
what I had mapped out to paralyze them with, fell from grace into the yellow pup
story, and made the statement in a very apologetic manner that we ought to undertake
such work, and— then one brother broke up the meeting by growling, "Well, why don't
you?" That ended it. There were no resolutions, no whereases, not a motion that a
committee "be appointed ,to look into the matter"; it was taken for granted, and since
that time the funds have been forthcoming without comment. We have given up the
idea of the hospital for the present, that is not the first essential, but it will come in
Although we have settled it, I believe, that in the future a sick baby shall have as good
a show to treatment as a yellow pup, because we have quarters in St. Luke's Hospital,
the ultimate will be a regular Baby Hospital; because babies are no more welcome in
the ordinary Hospital than they are in some well regulated families. But we soon
learned by experience that there were several features of the Infant Welfare work
which would bring quicker and more valuable results than the Hospital. Visiting
Nursing, for instance, is the first and most important portion; it is immediate in its
effects, is educational, a very important feature, because you have to gradually bring
those who may profit by the service up to the point where they will be willing first,
and then anxious for it. Our experience leads us to believe that the visiting nurse, a
proper one, not over educated in the theory, but bubbling over with the natural,
womanly, sympathetic enthusiasm and good nature of the strong, healthy, female
crusader who would be a militant Suffragette riding on a horse all straddled out if her
tendencies had not run into more elevating and useful channels, is indispensible. It is
really wonderful what those women can do; I can have myself placed in the Anannias
class at any time by telling the truth and sticking to the facts concerning what I know
about this matter, so I have to go light in deference to my standing as a Deacon.
After we had tried out many things, and failed in some, we found that the next step
was to provide means for obtaining medical advice, although it is remarkable how
little, comparatively, the doctor is needed, but he is needed at times; and the next was
to provide Milk Stations where guaranteed clean milk could be obtained at reasonable
prices. These were the next steps, but of course, all based on the work of the visiting
nurse. In our case the milk proposition was comparatively easy, as there are only three
months during which the hot weather demands any special consideration, but this is a
latitudinal detail which each locality must determine for itself. In our case we paid ten
cents a quart for the inspected milk and sold it for seven cents, the same price as the
ordinary milk dealer's product sold for. About one-fourth we had to give free, but
wherever possible we received some consideration, in order to prevent the
development of the idea of charity and its cold, paralyzing effect on the moral
consciousness. Our Clinics are attended by a practising physician and a Nurse; one is
held each day, except Sundays; and during the middle of the season we have two
physicians employed and three Nurses.
In the working out of our plans we found that a large amount of our work was undone
by the lack of appreciation of the importance of the job confided to them on the part
of the young children to whose care some infants were entrusted. Then we called them
Little Mothers, and educated them in classes in such matters as they could bring into
use in their work of caring for their little brothers and sisters. We gave them real
grown up receptions, cake and ice cream with three colors in it, and practical
instruction, and took them out for auto rides, as well as the real Mothers, but at
different times; for the Little Mothers make the trip a picnic which would surely
waken the baby, if within a block. We have no trouble in securing the autos, and each
is driven by its owner, no chauffers permitted in the procession. It is the Society event
in Dead Cat Alley and Shinbone Lane when the shining machine makes its way to the
residence of Mrs. O'Levitsky, and takes the Duchess and her family out for an airing.
But I could use this garrulous typewriter— it used to belong to a woman— for hours,
and still be on the safe side, but I shall have to complete this story by enclosing some
clippings concerning the same subject and summarize the results.
Summing up, our experience has been very satisfactory; we have reduced the
indigestion and insomnia amongst our Brethren, because we have cut out the
mankilling late suppers and spent the money on the babies; we have given our
members the idea and the certain knowledge that they are doing something, that they
are helping somebody; we have placed Masonry much closer to the great majority
than it ever was or would have been in any length of time under the old speculative
regime; it means something to them now besides a selfish, cloistercell institution,
which although possessed of great potential strength was too much hampered by old
traditions, old customs, Grand Master's decisions, Obsolete Landmarks, and the
endeavor to live under ancient, instead of modern, conditions, and permitted progress
and real civilization to drag it along, instead of being one of the highest powered
motors in the van.
Properly organized, such a work is not an undertaking which should dismay any group
of Masons under ordinary conditions. The overhead expenses are nothing; the only
expenses being for Nurses and physicians, and such other charges as hospital bills,
and attention to the sick. One brother is Director, and the Autocrat of all the Russias is
not in it with his reign; there is no female on the list, except the nurses, and every
dollar is one hundred cents. Few know who the Director is and no person is strutting
around borrowing glory and doing nothing. The Scottish Rite Bodies furnish the entire
funds and are glad to do so.
Our Masonic Institution, not alone the Scottish Rite, stands in our City of over 95,000
people as one of its municipal assets and institutions; the letter of the Director of
Public Safety in the Christmas Calendar will indicate his opinion. The City Health
Department still looks after the pre-natal work, a different subject, but we attend to
everything in the shape of infants. If I have not covered your requirements ask me
questions and I will try and make everything plain, or come up with your skiis and see
(From the report of the work, as submitted to "The American Association for the
Study and Prevention of Infant Mortality," the headquarters are at Baltimore, Md., we
learn the following details of the work at Duluth. The work was organized in 1911 and
is carried on throughout the year. The number of babies cared for during the year
1913, was 200; for the year 1914, 300, for the year 1915, 600; the large increase for
1915 being due to the fact that the City of Duluth's interest in this department was
assumed by the Scottish Rite Masons. The nationalities represented in the babies
cared for are Swedish Norwegian, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Austrian,
English, Irish, and three colored— which throws that the work is neutral. The infant
death rate in Duluth for the year 1910 was 223; for 1914, 187. Free clinics were held
in three districts of the city during the months of June, July, August, and September,
1915. Total number of calls made from June 28th to October 15th 1915, 1,334; total
number of infants on record, 926.— The Editor.
WHEN OLD AGE COMES
If God grant me old age,
I would see some things finished; some outworn;
Some stone prepared for builders yet unborn.
Nor would I be the sated, weary sage
Who sees no strange new wonder in each morn.
And with me there on what men call the shelf
Crowd memories from which I cull the best,—
And live old strifes, old kisses, some old jest;
For if I be no burden to myself
I shall be less a burden to the rest.
If God grant you old age,
I'll love the record writ in whitened hair,
I'll read each wrinkle wrought by patient care,
As oft as one would scan a treasured page,
Knowing by heart each sentence graven there.
I'd have you know life's evil and life's good,
And gaze out calmly, sweetly on it all —
Serene with hope, whatever may befall;
As though a love-strong spirit ever stood
With arm about you, waiting any call.
If God grant us old age,
I'd have us very lenient toward our kind,
Letting our waning senses first grow blind
Toward sins that youthful zealots can engage,
While we hug closer all the good we find.
I'd have us worldly foolish, heaven wise,
Each lending each frail succor to withstand,
Ungrudging, ev'ry mortal day's demand;
While fear-fed lovers gaze in our old eyes,
And go forth bold and glad and hand in hand.
—Burges Johnson, in Haiper's Magazine.
BY BRO. ASAHEL W. GAGE, ILLINOIS
WE often heal that Masonry enables those who understand it to travel in foreign
countries. It is certainly true that an intelligent study of Masonry draws the individual
out of his own small sphere and, by giving him a broader view, enables him to travel
in those distance realms of thought, where no discordant voices mar the harmony of
eternal law. In every man's mind there exists a universe so grand that it is in reality a
reflection of the great plans of the Grand Architect of the Universe. Masonry leads the
way and unfolds the wondrous mysteries. It is in this higher psychological sense that
Masonry enables those who follow its precepts to travel in foreign countries.
We also leam that Masonry enables the traveler to work and receive master's wages
and he thereby the better enabled to support himself and family and contribute to the
relief of the worthy distressed. By wages, however, is meant not alone returns of a
purely financial nature. By studying the Masonic system of symbolism, the Mason
learns to read the laws of Nature and apply them for his betterment. It makes him of
more value to the world and his fellowmen and being of more value, he receives more
for his services. The unfailing law of compensation, the All Seeing Eye, prevades the
innermost recesses of the human heart and rewards according to merit. It is in this way
that the Master Mason works and receives Master's wages.
A MASTER MASON?
The teachings of Masonry are not disclosed, its secrets cannot be extorted, no man can
receive them until he is prepared for them. The taking of the Master Mason's
obligations does not make a Master Mason. Masonry points to the Bible as the Great
Light for guidance and to the Arts and Sciences as of value in themselves and in their
suggestions of the great force that is back of them. A conception of this force, an
ability to study by symbol, to prove the unknown by the known, with the same exact
conclusiveness that the geometrician proves the unknown problem by the axiom and
the proven proposition makes the individual a Master Mason.
The admonition to travel in foreign countries, work and receive Master's wages is an
admonition limited only by the industry and ability of the individual.
SPECIFICATIONS OF SUPPFEMENT AF WORK AFTER TAKING FIRST
DEGREE I. KINGS
2. And Solomon sent to Hiram, saying
5. And behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the Lord my God, as the
Lord spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in
thy room, he shall build an house unto my name.
6. Now therefore command thou that they hew me cedar trees out of Lebanon, and my
servants shall be with thy servants; and unto thee will I give hire for thy servants,
according to all that thou shall appoint for thou knowest that there is not among us any
that can skill to hew timber like unto the Sidonians.
8. And Hiram sent to Solomon, saying, I have considered the things which thou
sentest to me for, and I will do all thy desire concerning timber of cedar and
concerning timber of fir.
9. My servants shall bring them down from Lebanon unto the sea; and I will convey
them by sea in floats unto the place that thou shall appoint me, and will cause them to
be discharged there, and thou shall receive them, and thou shalt accomplish my desire
in giving good for my household.
15. And Solomon had threescore and ten thousand that bare burdens, and fourscore
thousand hewers in the mountains.
16. Besides the chief of Solomon's officers which were over the work, three thousand
and three hundred, which ruled over the people that wrought in the work.
2. And the house which King Solomon built for the Lord the length thereof was
threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits, and the height thereof thirty
7. And the house, when it was in building, was build of stone made ready before it
was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron
heard in the house while it was in building.
8. The door for the middle chamber was in the right side of the house; and they went
up with winding stairs into the middle chamber, and out of the middle into the third.
19. And the oracle he prepared in the house within, to set there the ark of the covenant
of the Lord.
20. And within the oracle was a space of twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in
breadth, and twenty cubits in the height; and he overlaid it with pure gold; and so
covered the altar which was of cedar.
38. And in the eleventh year, in the month Bui, (which is the eighth month) was the
house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it.
So was he seven years in building it.
SPECIFICATIONS OF SUPPFEMENT AF WORK AFTER TAKING SECOND
13. And king Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre
14. He was a widow's son of the tribe of Naphtali and his father was a man of Tyre, a
worker in brass, and he was fdled with wisdom and understanding, and cunning to
work all works in brass. And he came to King Solomon, and wrought all his work.
15. For he cast two pillars of brass, of eighteen cubits high apiece; and a line of twelve
cubits did compass either of them about.
16. And he made two chapiters of molton brass, to set upon the tops of the pillars; the
height of the one chapiter was five cubits, and the height of the other chapiter was five
17. There were nets of checker work, and wreaths of chain work, for the chapiters
which were upon the top of the pillars; seven for the one chapiter, and seven for the
18. So he made the pillars, and there were two rows round about upon the one net
work, to cover the chapiters that were upon the top of the pillars; and so did he for the
19. And the chapiters that were upon the top of the pillars in the porch were of lily
work, four cubits
20. And the chapiters upon the two pillars had pomegranates also above, over against
the belly which was by the net work; and the pomegranates were two hundred in rows
round about upon the other chapiter.
21 . And he set up the pillars in the porch of the temple; and he set up the right pillar,
and called the name thereof Jachin; and he set up the left pillar, and called the name
22. And upon the top of the pillars was lily work; so was the work of the pillars
46. In the plain of Jordan did the king cast them, in the clay ground between Succoth
SPECIFICATIONS OF SUPPFEMENT AF WORK AFTER TAKING THIRD
1 . And Solomon determined to build an house for the name of the Lord, and an house
for his kingdom.
3. And Solomon sent to Huram, the King of Tyre, saying, As thou didst deal with
David my father, and didst send him cedars to build him an house to dwell therein,
even so deal with me.
4. Behold, I build an house to the name of the Lord my God, to dedicate it to Him, and
to bum before Him sweet incense, and for the continual shew bread, and for the burnt
offerings morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the
solemn feasts of the Lord our God. This is an ordinance for ever to Israel.
5. And the house which I build is great; for great is our God above all gods.
6. But who is able to build Him an house, seeing the heaven, and heaven of heavens,
cannot contain Him ? who am I then, that should build Him an house, save only to
bum sacrifices before Him?
7. Send me now therefore a man cunning to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass,
and in iron, and in purple, and crimson, and blue, and that can skill to grave with the
cunning men that are with me in Judah and in Jerusalem, whom David, my father did
8. Send me also cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees, out of Lebanon, (for I know
that thy servants can skill to cut timber in Lebanon) and behold, my servants shall be
with thy servants.
10. And behold, I will give thy servants, the hewers that cut timber, twenty thousand
measures of beaten wheat, and twenty thousand measures of barley, and twenty
thousand baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil.
1 1 . Then Huram, the King of Tyre, answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon,
because the Lord hath loved his people, he hath made king over them.
12. Huram said moreover, Bessed be the Lord God of Israel, that made heaven and
earth, who hath given to David the king a wise son, endued with prudence and
understanding, that might build an house for the Lord, and an house for His kingdom.
16. And we will cut wood from Lebanon, as much as thou shalt need, and we will
bring it to thee in floats by sea to Joppa, and thou shall carry it up to Jerusalem.
1. Then Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem in Mount Moriah,
where the Lord appeared unto David, his father, in the place that David had prepared
in the threshing floor of Oman the Jebusite.
3. Now these are the things wherein Solomon was instructed for the building of the
house of God: The length by cubits after the first measure was three score cubits, and
the breadth twenty cubits.
8. And he made the most holy house, the length whereof was according to the breadth
of the house, twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits, and he overlaid it
with fine gold, amounting to six hundred talents.
15. Also he made before the house two pillars of thirty and five cubits high, and the
chapiter that was on the top of each of them was five cubits.
16. And he made chains, as in the oracle, and put them on the heads of the pillars; and
he made an hundred pomegranates, and put them on the chains.
17. And he reared up the pillars before the temple, one on the right hand, and the other
on the left, and he called the one on the right hand Jachin, and the name of that on the
BEECHER ON BURNS
(An unknown friend who signs only his initials writes to say that several years ago he
read in the Brooklyn Eagle the report of an address on "Beecher as a Lecturer," by Dr.
Hillis, in which was quoted an extract from a little known, unpublished lecture by Mr.
Beecher on Robert Burns. He is kind enough to send us the excerpt, and we can only
say that if the whole lecture was of a piece with this passage, it is a great pity that it
was never published in full. The passage, which we believe our readers will very
much appreciate, is as follows:)
His one nature carried enough for twenty common men of force and of feeling. He
never trickled drop by drop pmdentially; he gushed. He never ran a slender thread of
silver water; he came down booming like one of his own streams, which, when a
shower has fallen, rushes down the mountain. All parts of his nature were subject to
this same, sudden overflow. He thought as dragons charge, he felt love as prairies feel
autumnal fires. No man can form an estimate either of the good or bad that was in him
who has not studied Burns' heart, whose tides were deep as the oceans and sometimes
as tempestuous. There was more put into the making of Burns than any man of his
age. That which he had given forth by no means expressed the whole of what he was.
A great deal of his nature lay like undug treasure and like unpolished gold. His letters
were as wonderful as his poems, and his conversation richer than either. While that
half idiot Boswell was picking up every stray acom that fell from that rough, rugged
oak, old Doctor Johnson, how much better would it have been if some Ariel had hung
upon the lips of Bums, and recorded the flowers of his inspired eloquence! Now his
spirit walks crowned with praises and wreathed with loving sympathies all over the
habitable globe. And if every man within these twenty four hours the world around,
who should speak the word of Burns with fond admiration were ranked as his subject,
no king on earth would have such a realm; and if such an one should change a feeling
into a flower and cast it down to memory, a mountain would rise, and he should sit
upon a throne of blossoms, now at length without a thorn.
Just to be good: to keep life pure from degrading elements, to make it constantly
helpful in little ways to those who are touched by it, to keep one's spirit always sweet,
and avoid all manner of petty anger and irritability— that is an ideal as noble as it is
— Edward Howard Griggs.
QUESTIONS ON “THE STORY OF FREEMASONRY”
BY THE CINCINNATI MASONIC STUDY SCHOOL
(In our January issue we closed the series of questions on “The Builders," compiled
by the Cincinnati Masonic Study School. We shall now present a shorter, but equally
comprehensive list of questions based on "The Story of Freemasonry," by Bro. W.G
Sibley, of Ohio. This little book may be obtained either from The Lion's Paw Club of
Gallipolis, Ohio, or from John H. Cowles Secretary-General of the A. A. S. Rite,
Washington, D. C. Price 50 cents.)
1. When and by whom was Symbolic Masonry introduced into America? Page 61-62.
2. When and why was allegiance to English Authority severed? 61-1.
3. What is said of the Military Lodge of Freemasons in the "Connecticut Line" of the
Revolution? What distinguished Patriot was a member thereof? 62.
4. How did the great Edwin Booth regard Freemasonry ? 51-1.
5. What do the charges contain concerning the management of the craft? 84-1.
6. What were the ordinances adopted by the chief lodge of Strassburg in 1563? 78-1.
7. What is required of Masters ? For what cause were fellows of old cast out from the
craft forever? 77-1.
8. What statutes of Masonry were re-enacted in Montpelier, France, in 1586? 78-2.
9. Under what six general heads are the Ancient Charges to Master Masons arranged?
10. What is a Mason to do under the first specification of the Ancient Charges ? 79-2.
1 1 . What makes a Mason a good citizen of the Nation in which he resides as defined
under the 2d head of the ancient charges ? 80.
12. What is the status of a Mason who is a Rebel against the state? 80-1.
13. What is supposed to be the conversation in the Lodge Room or Ante-Room? Page
14. How should Masons conduct themselves during the session of the Lodge? How at
15. What do you know of Masonic Charity throughout the world? Page 1 12-2.
16. To whom do Masons give Charity? When? 112-1.
17. How do Masons in Sweden, Hungary and America dispense Charity? 113.
18. Who was John Coustos? 20-1. Where and why was he tortured ? 20-4.
19. Who secured his release? 22-9.
20. What was the attitude of the French Lodges toward the higher degrees in August,
1766 ? What caused the Grand Lodge of France to recognize them? 67-2, 68-1.
21. Under what authority are all the individual organizations of Free Masons? How are
they governed and in what relation do they work together? Page 67.
22. How many degrees did the original historical Masonry have and to what purpose
did they put them ? Page 56.
23. What is said of the York Rite? 60-2.
24. How many degrees and what are their names in the Chapter? What are its chief
officers and what do they represent? Page 61 .
25. How many orders have the Commandery and what are its principal officers called ?
26. Where does the York Rite derive its name and what does it include ? Page 60.
27. When did the three Degrees seem to come into existence? Page 57.
28. What are the two separate series of degrees in Masonry called ? 60.
29. What is Freemasonry? 52-1.
30. What is said of the dignity of the Fraternity of Freemasons during the latter part of
the eighteenth century? 16-1.
3 1 . What is said of the historical record of the Royal Arch degree? Page 62-63.
32. When and where were the Council Degrees introduced into America and what is
said of them? 63-1.
33. What is said of the origin of the Knights Templar? What progress had they made by
the end of the twelfth century? 64- 1 .
34. What is the historical record of the York Rite? 62-6. What is known of the council
degrees? 63-3. What origin is given of Knights Templar? 64-4. Under what authority
does each individual organization of Masons work and with what result? 67-3.
35. What is said of the Esoteric Work of Freemasonry? 88-1.
36. Has any effort been made to exterminate Freemasonry? Page 13.
37. What century was Freemasonry fought in France? Page 13.
38. Has Freemasonry ever been attacked ? Where? 13 20. Why? 13 2.
39. What church is said to be the most inveterate enemy of Freemasonry? Page 14.
40. In what year did Queen Elizabeth of England order the Grand Lodge to be broken
41. Give an account of the various attacks on Freemasonry from 1429 to the year 1818
inclusive. Page 14-15-16.
42. What was the nature of the attacks upon Freemasonry in the latter part of the
eighteenth century? By whom made and why? 16-12-17-1
ARTHUR EDWARD WAITE - AN APPRECIATION
BY JOSEPH FORT NEWTON
ONE of the greatest masters of the field of esoteric lore and method of culture, by far
the greatest now living, is Arthur Edward Waite, to whom it is an honor to pay tribute.
In response to a number of requests, and as prelude to a lecture on the deeper aspects
of Masonry, soon to appear in these pages, we offer a brief sketch of Brother Waite,
with a statement of his conception of Masonry and its service to man in his quest of
God. If these lines induce any of our readers to study his works, they will thank us for
having put them in the way of so wise and skillful a guide, who is at once a poet and a
mystic, the sum of whose insight, set forth on his latest page, is that
"All thoughts, all passions, all delights, Whatever stirs this mortal frame, Are but the
ministers of love, And feed his sacred flame."
By rare good fortune, as we think, our friend and teacher was born in America— in
Brooklyn, New York —and on his father's side traces his descent back to the earliest
settlers in Connecticut. His mother was English, belonging to the old family of Lovell.
The family name, originally spelled "Wayte," was attached to the document
authorizing the execution of Charles I., and it was probably the fact that the family
found England a rather uncomfortable place in which to live after the Restoration that
sent his ancestors across the sea. While the poet was still in his infancy his father died,
and he was taken to England at the age of two. He has never returned to America— a
fact to be held against him, but for which we hope he will atone in a time not far
Educated privately, he began writing while still in his early teens, poetry being his
first love. His first book, a volume of verse, was published in 1886. For ten years or
more he pursued an active business life, as secretary and director of public companies,
at the same time engaging in elaborate researches in the fields of magic, occultism,
and the esoteric side of religion and philosophy. How he found time to do both is not
easy to know. He took the whole realm of mysticism for his province, for the study of
which he was almost ideally fitted by temperament, training, and genius— and, we
may add, by certain deep experiences in his own life, of which he rarely speaks, the
glow of which one detects in all his work, and nowhere more vividly than in his latest
book on "The Way of Divine Union." In later years, as the result of long study, he has
come to deal only with the higher mysticism, as totally separated from the magical,
the psychical, and the occult.
Exploring a hidden world, he has brought to his task a religious nature, the accuracy
and skill of a scholar, a sureness and delicacy of insight at once sympathetic and
critical, the eye of a symbolist and the soul of a poet— qualities rarely found in union.
Brother Waite does not write after our American fashion— "hot off the bat," as Casey
put it— but in a leisurely manner, seeking not only to state the results of his research,
but to convey somewhat of the atmosphere of the themes with which he deals. Prolific
but seldom prolix, he writes with such lucidity as his subject admits of, albeit in a
style often touched with strange lights and remote and haunting echoes. Much
learning and many kinds of wisdom are in his pages; and if he is of those who turn
down another street when wonders are wrought in the neighborhood, it is because,
having found the inner truth, he does not ask for a sign.
Always our Brother writes in the conviction that all great subjects bring us back to the
one subject that is alone great— the attainment of that Living Truth which is about us
everywhere. He conceives of our human life as one eternal Quest of that Living Truth,
taking many forms, yet ever at heart the same aspiration, to trace which he has made it
his labor and reward. Through all his pages he is following the tradition of this Quest,
in its myriad aspects, finding in it the secret meaning of the life of man from his birth
to his union— or reunion— with God who is his Goal. And the result is a series of
volumes noble in form! united in aim, unique in wealth of revealing beauty, of
exquisite insight, and of unequalled worth.
As far back as 1886, Brother Waite issued his study of the "Mysteries of Magic," a
digest of the writings of Eliphas Levi, to whom Albert Pike was more indebted than
he let us know. Then followed the "Real History of the Rosicrucians," which traces, as
far as such a thing can be done, the thread of fact in that fascinating romance. Of the
Quest in its distinctively Christian aspect, he has written in "The Hidden Church of
the Holy Graal"; a work of rare beauty, of bewildering richness, its style partaking of
the story told, and not at all after the fashion of these days. But the Graal Legend is
only one aspect of the old-world sacred Quest of the truth most worth finding, uniting
the symbols of chivalry with the forms of Christian faith.
Masonry is another aspect of that same age-long Quest; and just as Brother Pound has
shown us the place of Masonry among the institutions of humanity, and its meaning as
such, so Brother Waite shows us the place of Masonry in the mystical tradition and
aspiration of mankind. No one may ever hope to write of "The Secret Tradition in
Masonry" with more insight and charm, or a touch more sure and revealing, than this
gracious scholar to whom Masonry perpetuates the Instituted Mysteries of antiquity,
with much else derived from innumerable store-houses of treasure. What then are the
marks of this eternal Quest, whether its legend be woven about a Lost Word, a design
left unfinished by a Master Builder, or, in its Christian form, about the Cup of Christ ?
They are as follows: first, the sense of a great loss which has befallen humanity,
making us a race of pilgrims ever in search of that which is lost; second, the
intimation that what was lost still exists somewhere in time and the world, although
deeply buried; third, the faith that it will ultimately be found and the vanished glory
restored; fourth, the substitution of something temporary and less than the best, but
never in a way to adjourn the quest; and fifth, the felt presence of that which is lost
under veils and symbols close at hand. What though it take many forms, it is always
the same quest, and from this statement of it surely we ought to see that Masonry has
a place in the greatest quest which man has pursued in the midst of time. Our Order is
thus linked with the shining tradition of the race, having a place and a service in the
culture of the life of the soul, leading men in the search for God, if haply they might
feel after Him, and find Him, though He is not far from any one of us.
But this is a long and difficult quest, and we must walk carefully, lest we trip and fall
into the pits that beset the path. Brother Waite warns us against the dark alleys that
lead nowhere, and the false lights that lure to ruin, and he protests against those who
would open the Pandora's Box of the Occult on the altar of Masonry. After a long
study of occultism, magic, omens, talismans, and the like, he has come to draw a
shaip line between the occult and the mystical, and therein he is wise. From a recent
interview with him in regard to these matters in an English paper, we may read:
"There is nothing more completely set apart from mysticism than that set of interests
and things called occultism. Occultism is concerned with the idea that there were a
number of secret sciences handed down from the past, and which, roughly speaking,
represented the steps toward the attainment of abnormal power by man, corresponding
to the idea of Magic. Magic, of course, meant many things: it meant the power
obtained by man as a result of dealing with spirits, raising the spirits of the dead,
everything that we understand by the supposed efficacy of talismans, and all that is
comprehended in the word Astrology. My interest in these things has been purely
historical and critical.
Occult and psychical research does help, of course, to show that the purely
materialistic interpretation of things does not cover the whole field. It shows a residue
of experience which points to the existent of powers beyond the ken of man, some of
them maleficent, others innocent in themselves, of which the student may take
account. Unfortunately, I have known too many who follow these things as the be-all
and end-all of their interests. I know others also, and many, to whom the exaggerated
pursuit has spelt not less than ruin. I mean, morally and spiritually. I know, for the
rest, that they reach no real term; very soon they come up against a dead wall."
Here are grave and wise words, spoken out of full knowledge of history and fact, and
he is wise who heeds them. It is no theological bias of any sort, but the profound
fallacy of the occult, and its danger to the highest life and character, that has moved us
more than once in these pages to utter a like warning to those who would turn aside
from the historic highway of the soul to follow a will-of-the-wisp into the bog. If
Masonry forsakes its Great Light to follow these wandering tapers, it too will fall into
the ditch. But to listen to Brother Waite:
"Symbolism is sacramental. To me all visible things are emblems. When you come to
think of it, is it not true that all the workings of the human mind are in the form of
symbols? These symbols are truly representive and not mere figments of the mind,
and to get at the reality behind the symbol is the aim of the mystic. The theory of
mysticism is that the voice of God is within, and that the soul has to enter into the
realization that God is within. The question is whether that realization can be fully
achieved in this life. All, or nearly all, the great mystics, held that they only
approximated it. The absolute vision and union lie very far away— so the quest of the
Lost Word goes on, ever on.
Mysticism is not a way of escape either from one's self or the world. It is by the
realization of the indwelling of God in all around, and within, in things animate and
inanimate, and most of all in the soul of man, that we attain to knowledge of God— in
so far as we attain it in this life. Thus, it is not a path of escape from the world, as the
old ascetics imagine, but by finding God in the world, the ideal in the real, one with
the ideal within ourselves, that we attain to union with God. We are sacraments to
ourselves. A man building a house would perhaps be suiprised if you told him that he
is not merely building bricks and stones, but that he is trying to bring into being
something of the idealism in his own nature, but if he could be brought to understand
that, would it not give a new glory to his work ? "
Thus mysticism, as here presented, is practical common sense— bringing to the
humblest task the highest truth to lighten and transfigure our labor. Time does not
permit us to speak of the poetry of Brother Waite, though some think his best work
has been done in that field. He himself thinks of his poetry as "light tongued rumors
and hints alone of the songs I had hoped to sing." We must, however, mention his
drama of "The Morality of the Lost Word," which may be found in his poems,
recently collected in two noble volumes, and we bespeak for it a long study. At
another time we shall speak of the poetry of our friend to whom the world is ever an
infinite parable, giving at present only the following lines as a hint of his poetic
puipose and power:
In the midst of a world full of omen and sign, imped'd by the seeing gift On auspice
and portent reflecting, in part I conjecture their drift; I catch faint words of the
language which the world speaks far and wide. And the soul withdrawn in the deeps
of man from the birth of each man has cried. I know that a sense is beyond the sense
of the manifest Voice and Word, That the tones in the chant which we strain to seize
are the tones that are scarcely heard; While life pulsating with secret things has many
too deep to speak, And that which evades, with a quailing heart, we feel is the sense
we seek: Scant were the skill to discern a few where the countless symbols crowd, To
render the easiest reading, catch the cry that is trite and loud.
For the rest, we confess a great debt to our dear friend and Brother across the great
waters, divided by distance but very near in thought and sympathy and regard; a man
of pure and lofty spirit, tolerant of mind, noble of nature, in all ways a true Master
Mason —and one who does not forget "that best portion of a good man's life, the little,
nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love."
— o —
THE FOUNDATION STONE
Thus saith the Lord God:— Behold, I lay in Zion fol a Foundation Stone, a tried stone,
a precious comer stone, a sure foundation; he that believeth shall not make haste.
Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet. —Isaiah.
SOME DEEPER ASPECTS OF MASONIC SYMBOLISM
by Bro. ARTHUR EDWARD WAITE, ENGLAND
The subject which I am about to approach is one having certain obvious difficulties,
because it is outside the usual horizon of Masonic literature, and requires, therefore, to
be put with considerable care, as well as with reasonable prudence. Moreover, it is not
easy to do it full justice within the limits of a single lecture. I must ask my Brethren to
make allowance beforehand for the fact that I am speaking in good faith, and where
the evidence for what I shall affirm does not appear in its fullness, and sometimes
scarcely at all, they must believe that I can produce it at need, should the opportunity
occur. As a matter of fact, some part of it has appeared in my published writings.
I will introduce the question in hand by a citation which is familiar to us all, as it so
happens that it forms a good point of departure:— "But as we are not all operative
Masons, but rather Free and Accepted or speculative, we apply these tools to our
morals." With certain variations, these words occur in each of the Craft Degrees, and
their analogies are to be found in a few subsidiary Degrees which may be said to arise
out of the Craft— as, for example, the Honorable Degree of Mark Master Mason. That
which is applied more specially to the working implements of Masonry belongs to our
entire building symbolism, whether it is concerned with the erection by the Candidate
in his own personality of an edifice or "superstructure perfect in its parts and
honorable to the builder," or, in the Mark Degree, with a house not made with hands,
eternal in the heavens, or again with Solomon's Temple spiritualized in the Legend of
the Master Degree.
A SYSTEM OF MORALITY
It comes about in this manner that Masonry is described elsewhere as "a peculiar
system of morality, enveiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols." I want to tell
you, among other things which call for consideration, something about the nature of
the building, as this is presented to my mind, and about the way in which allegory,
symbols and drama all hang together and make for one meaning. It is my design also
to show that Craft Masonry- incoiporates three less or more distinct elements which
have been curiously interlinked under the device of symbolical architecture. That
interlinking is to some extent artificial, and yet it arises logically, so far as the relation
of ideas is concerned.
There is, firstly, the Candidate's own work, wherein he is taught how he should build
himself. The method of instruction is practical within its own measures, but as it is so
familiar and open, it is not, properly speaking, the subject-matter of a Secret Order.
There is, secondly, a building myth, and the manner in which it is put forward
involves the Candidate taking part in a dramatic scene, wherein he represents the
master-builder of Masonry. There is, thirdly, a Masonic quest, connected with the
notion of a Secret Word communicated as an essential part of the Master Degree in
building. This is perhaps the most important and strangest of the three elements; but
the quest after the Word is not finished in the Third Degree.
THE FIRST DEGREE
Let us look for a moment at the Degree of Entered Apprentice, and how things stand
with the Candidate when he first comes within the precincts of the Lodge. He comes
as one who is "worthy and well recommended," as if he contained within himself
certain elements or materials which are adaptable to a specific purpose. He is
described by his conductor as a person who is "properly prepared." The fitness
implied by the recommendation has reference to something which is within him, but
not of necessity obvious or visible on his surface personality. It is not that he is merely
a deserving member of society at large. He is this, of course, by the fact that he is
admitted; but he is very much more, because Masonry has an object in view
respecting his personality— something that can be accomplished in him as a result of
his fellowship in the Brotherhood, and by himself. As a matter of truth, it is by both.
The "prepared" state is, however, only external, and all of us know in what precisely it
Now the manner of his preparation for entrance to the Lodge typifies a state which is
peculiar to his ward position as a person who has not been initiated. There are other
particulars into which I need not enter, but it should be remarked that in respect of his
preparation he leams only the meaning of the state of darkness, namely, that he has
not yet received the light communicated in Masonry. The significance of those
hindrances which place him at a disadvantage, impede his movements, and render him
in fact helpless, is much deeper than this. They constitute together an image coming
out from some old condition by being unclothed therefrom— partially at least— and
thereafter of entering into a condition that is new and different, in which another kind
of light is communicated, and another vesture is to be assumed, and, ultimately,
another life entered.
THE MEANING OF INITIATION
In the first Degree the Candidate's eyes are opened into the representation of a new
world, for you must know, of course, that the Lodge itself is a symbol of the world,
extending to the four corners, having the height heaven above and the great depth
beneath. The Candidate may think naturally that light has been taken away from him
for the purpose of his initiation, has been thereafter restored automatically, when he
has gone through a part of the ceremony, and that hence he is only returned to his
previous position. Not so. In reality, the light is restored to him in another place; he
has put aside old things, has come into things that are new; and he will never pass out
of the Lodge as quite the same man that he entered. There is a very true sense in
which the particulars of his initiation are in analogy with the process of birth into the
physical world. The imputed darkness of his previous existence, amidst the life of the
uninitiated world, and the yoke which is placed about him is unquestionably in
correspondence with the umbilical cord. You will remember the point at which he is
released therefrom— in our English ritual, I mean. I do not wish to press this view,
because it belongs of right, in the main, to another region of symbolism, and the
procedure in the later Degrees confuses an issue which might be called clear
otherwise in the Degree of Entered Apprentice. It is preferable to say that a new
light— being that of Masonry— illuminates the world of the Lodge in the midst of which
the Candidate is placed; he is penetrated by a fresh experience; and he sees things as
they have never been presented to him before. When he retires subsequently for a
period, this is like his restoration to light; in the literal sense he resumes that which he
set aside, as he is restored to the old light; but in the symbolism it is another
environment, a new body of motive, experience, and sphere of duty attached thereto.
He assumes a new vocation in the world.
The question of certain things of a metallic kind, the absence of which plays an
important part, is a little difficult from any point of view, though several explanations
have been given. The better way toward their understanding is to put aside what is
conventional and arbitrary— as, for example, the poverty of spirit and the denuded state
of those who have not yet been enriched by the secret knowledge of the Royal and
Holy Art. It goes deeper than this and represents the ordinary status of the world,
when separated from any higher motive— the world-spirit, the extrinsic titles of
recognition, the material standards. The Candidate is now to leam that there is another
standard of values, and when he comes again into possession of the old tokens, he is
to realize that their most important use is in the cause of others. You know under what
striking circumstances this point is brought home to him.
ENTERED, PASSED, RAISED
The Candidate is, however, subjected to like personal experience in each of the Craft
Degrees, and it calls to be understood thus. In the Entered Apprentice Degree it is
because of a new life which he is to lead henceforth. In the Fellowcraft, it is as if the
mind were to be renewed, for the prosecution of research into the hidden mysteries of
nature, science, and art. But in the sublime Degree of Master Mason it is in order that
he may enter fully into the mystery of death and of that which follows thereafter,
being the great mystery of the Raising. The three technical and official words
corresponding to the successive experiences are Entered, Passed, and Raised, their
Craft-equivalents being Apprentice, Craftsman and Master— or he who has undertaken
to acquire the symbolical and spiritualized art of building the house of another life; he
who has passed therein to a certain point of proficiency, and in fine, he who has
attained the whole mystery. If I may use for a moment the imagery of Francis Bacon,
Lord Verulam, he has learned how to effectuate in his own personality "a new birth in
time," to wear a new body of desire, intention and purpose; he has fitted to that body a
new mind, and other objects of research. In fine, he has been taught how to lay it
aside, and yet again he has been taught how to take it up after a different manner, in
the midst of a very strange symbolism.
Now, it may be observed that in delineating these intimations of our symbolism, I
seem already to have departed from the mystery of building with which I opened the
conference; but I have been actually considering various sidelights thereon. It may be
understood, further, that I am not claiming to deal with a symbolism that is perfect in
all its parts, however honorable it may be otherwise to the builder. In the course of
such researches as I have been enabled to make into the Instituted Mysteries of
different ages and countries, I have never met with one which was in entire harmony
with itself. We must he content with what we have, just as it is necessary to tolerate
the peculiar conventions of language under which the Craft Degrees have passed into
expression, artificial and sometimes commonplace as they are. Will you observe once
again at this stage how it is only in the first Degree that the Candidate is instructed to
build upon his own part a superstructure which is somehow himself? This symbolism
is lost completely in the ceremony of the Fellowcraft Degree, which, roughly
speaking, is something of a Degree of Life; the symbols being more especially those
of conduct and puipose, while in the Third Degree, they speak of direct relations
between man and his Creator, giving intimation of judgment to come.
THE THIRD DEGREE
I have said, and you know, that the Master Degree is one of death and resurrection of
a certain kind, and among its remarkable characteristics there is a return to building
symbolism, but this time in the form of a legend. It is no longer an erection of the
Candidate's own house— house of the body, house of the mind, and house of the moral
law. We are taken to the Temple of Solomon and are told how the Master-Builder
suffered martyrdom rather than betray the mysteries which had been placed in his
keeping. Manifestly the lesson which is drawn in the Degree is a veil of something
much deeper, and about which there is no real intimation. It is assuredly an instruction
for the Candidates that they must keep the secrets of the Masonic Order secretly, but
such a covenant has reference only to the official and external side. The bare
recitation of the legend would have been sufficient to enforce this; but observe that the
Candidate assumes the part of the Master-Builder and suffers within or in him— as a
testimony of personal faith and honor in respect to his engagements. But thereafter he
rises, and it is this which gives a peculiar characteristic to the descriptive title of the
Degree. It is one of raising and of reunion with companions— almost as if he had been
released from earthly life and had entered into the true Land of the Living. The
keynote is therefore not one of dying but one of resurrection; and yet it is not said in
the legend that the Master rose. The point seems to me one of considerable
importance, and yet I know not of a single place in our literature wherein it has
received consideration. I will leave it, however, for the moment, but with the intention
of returning to it.
SECTARIANISM AND FREEMASONRY
BY BRO. GEO. W. WARVELLE, ILLINOIS
BEING myself a Greek pagan of the New Academy, though not without a strong
leaning toward the Stoics, I have always indulged in the utmost eclecticism in matters
of religion. And because I am unbiased in this respect I have not only been tolerant of
all men's religious opinions, but am enabled to see beauty and truth in many places
where my more circumspect brethren see only idolatry, superstition and falsehood. In
my writings I have always felt free to roam at my own sweet will through whatever
pastures presented themselves and to cull the flowers that therein grew, without a
thought as to their botanical significance. It is enough for me that they are beautiful.
Therefore, whether uttered by Jesus, Buda or Mohamed, the message of truth is to me
the same. But, I am digressing. However, that is a fault of my composition that, I
doubt not, you have long since discovered.
Now, what is Freemasonry? Is it something apart from the world, or is it of it? By
becoming Freemasons do we cease to possess individuality? A serious consideration
of these cogent questions may not be unprofitable to us all. Again, is Freemasonry
religious or is it only ethical? If the former, is it cast in any mould or does each one
make his own creed? If the latter, is its morality subjective or objective? And if
objective, then from what sources do we receive our morality ? A few more questions
worthy of a little serious thought.
I have many times heard it stated, that inasmuch as the legend of the Royal Arch is
Semitic, therefore the Old Testament canon should alone furnish the basis of our
religious thought as Royal Arch Masons. Indeed, this seems to be a generally accepted
principle by Grand High Priests, as is evidenced by the pious hortatorical
introductions and fervent conclusions of their annual addresses in the terms of Old
Testament theology. But, while it is true that the legend is Semitic it is not true that it
is Scriptural. On the contrary, it is distinctly unscriptural. Not only is there not a line
in the Old Testament that supports the legend, but it is opposed by all the known facts
of history. The legend, then, is only a symbol and as such is compatible with all
religions. Hence, there is, and can be, no sectarianism in Freemasonry, for each may
interpret the symbol for himself and all will be right however much they may seem to
The Masonic fraternity of the United States is a composite of many races, with their
differing views of morals and religion. It assumes, in theory at least, to reconcile these
diverse and oftentimes antagonistic views by reducing them to a common formula
which the old charges call, "The religion in which all men agree." It assumes to
provide a common meeting ground for men of different races and religions, and thus
to promote the harmony of friendship among those who otherwise "must have
remained at a perpetual distance." But what is the religion "in which all men agree" ?
Does such a thing exist outside of the fertile imaginations of ritual compilers? Who
can define its essence or state its principles? As a matter of fact is it not a Utopian
dream, that never did and never will become a reality? Notwithstanding that they are
all Freemasons the Christian remains a Christian, the Jew a Jew, the Moslem a
Moslem. They each adore an abstraction which they call God, but each has his own
concept, and this concept utterly excludes that of the others. So has it ever been, so
will it be while frail humanity retains its present mould.
There is, then, no religion "in which all men agree," but each of us who would truly
and reverently worship the Deity "in spirit and in truth," must be left to form his own
conceptions of that Deity, and of His essence and attributes. This, as I understand it, is
what is meant by the Masonic doctrine of toleration. Not that we must all reduce
ourselves to the dull level of an undefined world-extensive creed.
If this be true then what shall be classed as sectarianism in Freemasonry? If the Jew
prays to Yahweh shall he then give offense to the Moslem who says there is no God
but Allah, or if the Christian seeks his God through the mediation of Jesus, or
perchance the intercession of the Saints, will he thereby become a stumbling block to
the Jew? And how about the pagans, like your uncle, who look through nature up to
nature's God? Must not our prayers, if they are sincere, be made through the channels
of our own faith not those of another?
I think it may be safely asserted that the all-including universal church, without
denomination, sect or cult, will never materialize. Indeed, the tendency of the times is
in the opposite direction. Nor do I know that such a church is a consummation at all to
be wished. In fact, it seems as though the religious nature of man requires this
diversity; that creeds, sects and cults are necessary, and that even those which appear
narrow, bigoted or even fantastic may yet afford outlet for the spiritual life of
And so, "let every man be persuaded in his own mind," we may still be brothers, or, at
all events, we can be cousins. However much we may disagree in articles of faith we
may yet be in unison respecting the import of the symbols.
There is an old legend of the good St. Ambrose, told by Mr. Lowell in his melodious
verse but which I in the ruder dialect of my simple prose. Its application to the matter
just discussed is so apparent that I offer no apology for its introduction.
St. Ambrose, it would seem, was a most holy man who by castigation of the body, by
fasting and by prayer, had made his heart as soft to God's hand as though it was wax.
Ever he sought to know the true and reject the false; often he wrestled with the blessed
Word, to make it yield the meaning of the Lord; all that he might form a creed that
naught could assail and that would contain the essence of eternal truth. And finally his
work was accomplished; he had built the formula of perfect faith; and to all around he
said "Thus saith the Lord." And he knew, by that inward but ever sure sign, that his
work was a divine inspiration. And then, so the story runs, Ambrose said, "All those
shall die the eternal death who believe not as I." And so, it came to pass, in his pious
zeal, that there were some who were boiled, and some burned in fire, and others sawn
in twain, in order that his great desire for the good of men's souls might be satisfied.
But one day as Ambrose was taking a lonely walk he espied a youth of most graceful
mien and beaming countenance resting himself under the shade of a tree. Then
Ambrose drew near and inquired of the stranger how it went with his soul. It required
but little time, however, to ascertain that the heart of the stranger was hardened and
that it had not received the stamp of the one true creed. This is what the young man
"As each beholds in cloud and fire
The shape that answers his own desire,
So each in the Law shall find
The figure and features of his mind;
And to each in his mercy hath God allowed
His several pillar of fire and cloud."
Then the soul of Ambrose burned with holy wrath, and he said:
"Believest thou then, most wretched youth
A dividual essence in Truth ?
I fear me thy heart is too cramped with sin
To take the Lord in his glory in."
Now, so the story runs, there bubbled beside them where they stood a fountain of
water, and the youth advancing to the stream said, "Ambrose, thou maker of creeds,
look here." And then he took six crystal vases and set them along the edge of the
brook, after which he turned to Ambrose saying:
"As into these vessels the water I pour,
There shall one hold less, another more,
And the water unchanged, in every case,
Shall put on the figure of the vase;
O thou, who wouldst unity make through strife,
Canst thou fit this sign to the Water of Life ?"
And Ambrose stood abashed, but when he looked up, lo! he stood alone; the youth,
the stream, and the vases, all were gone; and then he knew, by a sense of humbled
grace, that he had talked with an angel, and he felt his heart change as with meekness
and humility he fell upon his knees and confessed the great sin of his life.
THE TRIAL OF THE KNIGHTS TEMPLARS
BY BRO. HENRY D. FUNK, MINNESOTA
The trial of the Knights Templars in the early fourteenth century was one of the most
brutal travesties of justice known to mankind and the dissolution of the order was one
of the saddest tragedies chronicled in the history of civilization. The trial began
suddenly and was conducted with unrelenting animosity until the ruin of the Templars
was achieved. Owing to the real or fancied connection of that Medieval order with the
Knights Templars of today an examination of the historic trial may be of interest to
the readers of "The Builder."
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF THE TEMPLARS TO 1307
Shortly after the end of the first crusade, in the year 1119, eight knights under the
leadership of Hugo de Payens assumed the task of forming themselves into guards for
the safe-conduct of pilgrims from Europe traveling between the Eastern
Mediterranean sea coast and Jerusalem. The associates of De Payens were Godfrey de
St. Omar, Roval, Godfrey Bisol, Payens de Montidiel, Archembald de St. Amand,
Andrew de Montbarry, and Gundemar who took the regular monastic vows of
obedience, chastity, and poverty, and lived together according to the rules of the
Augustianian friars said to have been made by Bernard of Clairvaux. So eminently
useful was the service of these eight knights that Baldwin II, king of Jerusalem,
bestowed favors upon them and provided them with headquarters in a part of his-
palace located near the spot where the Temple of Solomon is said to have stood. The
association of the incipient order with this historic site gave to the knights the name of
Knights of the Temple. Their number increased normally at first, the most illustrious
addition being count Hugo of Champagne who became a Templar in 1 125. In 1 128
the council of Troyes witnessed the papal confirmation of these knights as a religious
order and then their numbers increased rapidly. (1)
The insignia of the Templars were: a white mantle, symbolizing purity, and a red
cross signifying their readiness to endure martyrdom. They ate their meals in
common, were permitted to keep horses, but not more than three for each knight, and
were entitled to have one servant per knight. They were allowed to hunt lions but were
forbidden to go on the chase with falcons. Correspondence with relatives was
prohibited and every form of communication with women, including mothers and
sisters, was denied. Any infraction of the rules was punished by expulsion from the
From its inception the order proper was composed of knights of noble descent, bom in
honorable wedlock, innocent of grave offenses, and sound in body and mind. New
members of this class were admitted without passing through a novitiate; but at an
early date two other classes became identified with this order: the clergy, or priests,
and the servientes, or servants.
Accessions from secular knights by scions of noble families tended to change the
monastic character of the Templars and make them not only secular but worldly. Then
we find at their head a Grandmaster, ranked as a prince, and other ministeriales such
as a seneschal, a marshall, a president of the war office, a Grand-Preceptor, a treasurer
of the order, a drapier, and a commander of the light cavalry. Their organization
spelled efficiency and won for them the good will of the papacy. Eugene III in 1148
remitted one-tenth of the pennance to all who made bequests to this order. Alexander
III in 1163 allowed them their own clergy, and Innocent III in 1209 prohibited the use
of the interdict against them except by papal consent. Such favors implied obligations
by the recipients which the popes were not slow in demanding of their beneficiaries:
aid for the papal agents in breaking down the independence of local churches. This
service being performed the papacy compensated the Templars again in 1266 by
decreeing that gifts to this order entitled the donors to the benefits of indulgences in
the Holy Land. Consequently many gifts were bestowed upon them, such as manors,
villages, and towns, and their possessions were multiplied in Jerusalem, Tripoli,
Antioch, Cyprus, and Morea in the East, while in the West they held lands in France,
Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany and England. In all these countries they built their
temple courts and engaged in financial enteiprises.
They were the leading bankers of Paris and London; the Templars of Paris acted as
bankers for Blanche of Castile, Alphonso de Poitiers, Robert of Artois, and many
other nobles. The order also furnished ministers of finance to James I of Aragon and
Charles I of Naples. The Templar Thierre of Geleran was the chief adviser of Louis
VII of France, and the order's treasury at Paris was the financial center for the French
But the material prosperity of the Templars was their undoing. From the days of
Phillip Augustus to the reign of Philip IV princes and prelates as also the Knights of
St. John were jealous of the power wielded by the Templars, and it was to be expected
that at the first opportunity the envious would harm them. Unfortunately the Templars
were not sufficiently alert to maintain the order above reproach. They committed a
grave blunder when they permitted an unreasonable increase in the lowest ranks, that
of the servientes, which had been limited to one for each knight. By and by so many
churls of every degree, mechanics, shepherds, stablehands, and swineherders joined
this class that they eventually constituted nine-tenths of the entire order. (3) Among
these were naturally enough many of coarse habits and those who had "the vices of
monks." The popular mind did not distinguish between these "heweres of wood and
carriers of water" and the knights proper. In France it became customary to describe
an intemperate man by saying: "boire comme un templier," i.e. he drinks like a
Templar; and in Germany the old word "Tempelhaus" was equivalent to a house of
prostitution. Their immense possessions had made all Templars conscious of their
wealth and power, a fact not especially conducive to the cultivation of the Christian
virtue called humility. Hence it became customary to characterize a man of great pride
by saying: he is as proud as a Templar. Toward the end of the thirteenth century
public opinion held that the Templars and the Knights of St. John were not needed in
the West but that they ought to sell their possessions in western Europe and after
effecting a union of the two orders locate in the East and direct all their efforts against
the enemies of Christ. Phillip IV of France was especially anxious to eliminate them
from his kingdom in order to carry out his centralizing policy. They had resisted the
same aim on the part of Louis VII in 1149 and blocked Phillip's political program in
1 190. The failure of the crusade led by Louis IX was laid at their door, and they had
opposed Charles of Anjou in the conquest of Naples sanctioned and invited by the
pope; moreover they had taken part in the Sicilian vespers against the French, and had
united in expelling the French regent and aided in inviting the Aragonese to the throne
of Sicily. In 1295 they refused to pay a tenth to Phillip IV, and in 1296 during the
bitter struggle between Boniface VIII and the same king over the right to tax the
clergy they exported the precious metals to the pope in violation of the royal edict.
When Phillip IV demanded their aid against the pope in 1303 they refused obedience,
and in 1306 when the king urged an amalgamation of Hospitalers and Templars they
declined to consider his suggestion. (4) Such resistance to the royal will on the part of
a strong king was more than he would tolerate. Fortuitous circumstances had arisen to
make possible the destruction of this hated order within his realm, and Phillip was not
slow to see the opportunity.
The year 1305 marks the beginning of the so-called Babylonian Captivity of the
papacy, a phrase which signifies the residence of the popes at Avignon in France for
almost seventy years, i.e. until 1378. This transfer of the papal See from Rome to
French soil came about as the result of the controversy between Phillip IV and
Boniface VIII. Eleven months after the death of Boniface VIII the cardinals elected
the archbishop of Bordeaux to be head of the church. The new pope took the name of
Clement V and started for Rome; but at Lyons Phillip IV met him and persuaded him
to take up his residence at Avingnon, He created twenty four new cardinals, mostly
Frenchmen and relatives of the pope. During the quarrel between the French king and
Boniface VIII the former had charged the pope with heresy, sodomy and simony. He
had accused him of obtaining the papacy by fraud and demanded that he should be
removed from the Holy See. The reason for this charge is that the predecessor of
Boniface, Celestine V, a former hermit, had been elected to the papal throne much
against his own will July 7, 1294. After a few months he issued a decree declaring the
right of any pope to abdicate. He was encouraged to issue this decree and to abdicate
by Beneditino Gaetani, one of the leading cardinals, who thereupon was elected his
successor and assumed the papal name of Boniface VIII, December, 1294. Now after
the election of Clement V in 1305 when the king had the new pope living on French
soil he used this threat of calling a council to inquire into the legality of the election of
Boniface VIII and his successor, and the question of the morals and orthodoxy of
Boniface, as the means of compelling Clement V to obey the wishes of the king.
When Clement received the papal tiarra at Lyons the king had a conference with him
and submitted a plan for the dissolution of the Templars. Another meeting about the
same subject occurred by these parties in the spring of 1307. Phillip prepared to strike
the fatal blow. On the twelfth of October, 1307, the head of the Templars in France,
Grandmaster Jacques de Molai, was an important functionary at the burial of the
king's sister, Catherine; the next day he was arrested by order of the inquisitor general
of France, William Imbelt, the chaplain to the king, and thrown into prison.
II THE CHARGES AGAINST THE TEMPLARS
The sudden arrest of the Grandmaster startled all France. In order to appease the
enraged public which felt kindly disposed toward the head of the order, and to secure
a favorable opinion for his action in France and abroad, Phillip issued an explanation
setting forth the reasons for his procedure against the Templars. In short, he charged
them with immorality and heresy, naming five specific offenses:
1 . That upon being received into the order every neophyte must spit on the cross and
deny Christ thrice. (5)
2. That the receptor and the novice exchanged indecent kisses, i.e. on the navel and
the posteriors, while disrobed.
3. That they pledged themselves to practice sodomy.
4. That the priests of the order did not pronounce the words of consecration when
administering the mass.
5. That the cord which the Templars wore over their shirt day and night as a symbol of
purity had been consecrated by wrapping it around an idol they worshipped in the
III THE FORM OF THE TRIAL
After being arrested the Templars were placed in solitary confinement for periods
varying from a few days to years. One by one they were brought before the inquisition
without the benefit of legal counsellors. The five general accusations were then read
to them and amplified until they covered one hundred and twenty statements or
questions. (7) They were then informed that a frank admission of the points on which
they were accused and a promise to return to the church would secure pardon and
liberty, but refusal to do this would be followed by the death penalty. The church, it is
true, forbade the use of torture to secure evidence, but in order to obtain the damaging
testimony necessary to establish a list of crimes and errors on which to convict the
accused the inquisitor general resorted to torture. When the desired evidence had been
secured by this procedure the witness was asked to state that his testimony had been
given voluntarily and without constraint. Then it was written down by two clerks. If
he refused to perjure himself by making such false statements as were demanded he
was handed over to the tormentors until he declared no force had been employed in
obtaining his testimony, or he was tortured to death. Some witnesses were exposed to
the sufferings of the rack three and four times before the inquisition could extract the
When Clement V heard of the drastic measures taken by Phillip IV he appears to have
repented of the concession he had made to the king and wrote a reproachful letter to
him. But the threat of calling a council to inquire into the legality of the last two papal
elections and to investigate the orthodoxy of Boniface VIII quickly forced Clement to
surrender to Phillip. On August twelfth, 1308, the pope issued a Bull, "Faciens
Miselicoldiam," directing an investigation of the Templars in all countries where they
had chapters by a Commission of Inquiry composed of the archbishops of Canterbury,
Mayence, Cologne and Treves. Before this Commission Molai was tried November
22, 1309. After stoutly maintaining the innocence of the order he at last was overcome
in his enfeebled and emaciated condition by the wiles and torture of his foes.
Committed to prison again he was brought forth once more in the spring of 13 14 and
burned at the stake. Meanwhile church councils in various countries found verdicts in
favor of the Templars. The archbishop of Magdeburg in May, 1308, arrested a number
of Knights but released them in November of the same year owing to the protests of
the lay and ecclesiastical princes. The king of Portugal boldly defended the order;
Edward I of England proceeded against the Templars in a half-hearted way; James of
Aragon and Ferdinand of Castile imprisoned a few Knights, but the council of
Salamanca pronounced the order innocent, October, 1310. (8) The same judgment was
rendered by the council of Ravenna in June, 1310, and at Mayence, July 1, of the
same year. The first council of Canterbury did not convict them, and the second
council pronounced them guilty only after resorting to torture, October, 1310.
If the investigations in the countries outside of France resulted generally in favor of
the Templars, King Phillip prevented such an issue for the order in France. On August
20, 1308, he obtained from the pope a second Bull, "Justum et laudabile," which
authorized him to watch over the Templars and to hold them in disposition to the
church. (9) Thus the great pastor at Avignon had appointed a wolf to guard his sheep.
What he would do was a foregone conclusion. In October, 1310, fifty Knights were
burned at the stake in Paris, and the council of Senlis the same year pronounced the
order guilty. The council at Vienne in France was tampered with by both king and
pope to compel them to pronounce against the order, October, 1311, and March, 1312.
Thus in France the Templars experienced neither mercy nor justice.
IV THE CHARACTER OF THE FORCED CONFESSIONS
The Grandmaster Molai when first arrested admitted, as well he might, that certain
disorders existed in the chapters. He well knew that the order had drifted away from
the lofty ideals of its founders. But he nowhere incriminated his fellow knights with
the offenses the inquisitors were determined to fasten on the order. To the very last,
even at the stake, he denied the charges. His enemies, however, seized upon the
admissions of his first trial, perverted the testimony to suit their puipose and then sent
this doctored confession to the Templars of France, representing it as a
communication from the head of their order asking them to join him in admitting
guilt. (10) To the evidence obtained by violence and by fraud we will now direct our
1 . As to the accusation that they had renounced Christ thrice and had spit on the
cross, a. Some, believing that Molai's altered confession and the forged order to admit
the charges were genuine, obediently declared themselves guilty.
b. Others yielded admission of the charge only after threatenings and false promises.
c. Some confessed these outrages only when they could endure the torture no longer,
while those refusing D admit the charge were martyred unto death.
d. Almost all who admitted the accusations belonged to the class of servientes.
e. Their statements were contradictory; some said that upon entering the order they
were commanded to deny Christ; others declared they were asked to deny God; again
some said they were compelled to renounce the Saints, and still others avowed they
had to blaspheme the Virgin Mary and our Lord.
f. One confessed he had urinated on the cross.
g. This was done: in full view of the assembled brethren; in a dark room; in a field; in
a grange; in a coopershop; in a room for the manufacture of shoes. Sometimes the
witness declared he himself had done this, others again asserted they had not been
guilty of such misconduct but had witnessed it in their brethren. Some said these
things were done as a joke; others averred these acts were required as a test of their
obedience, and that they had denied Christ "ore non corde," i.e. with the mouth but
not with the heart. Some said they had spit near the cross, others that they
expectorated over it, and still others declared they adored the cross on Good Friday.
One who had endured the rack and torture declared that if he would be obliged to
undergo the ordeal again he was prepared to confess that he had "murdered the mother
of God." (11)
2. The accusation about the indecent kisses. Respect for general decency will prevent
us from entering into details; but here again we must note that the witnesses did not
agree. Some professed absolute ignorance of such a practice, others admitted they had
kissed the receptor, while still others asserted such osculation was mutual. A Templar
in England confessed there were two receptors, the one was good but the other fellow
a wicked man. (12)
3. Concerning unnatural lust. This charge was the subject for a searching examination,
Again torture was used to secure evidence. Some vowed they lad never heard of such
a sin; some admitted they were told it was permissable but they had never indulged in
it; others asserted they had been commanded to practice sodomy but had not obeyed
the order. The stablehand of the Grandmaster Molai accused his master of practicing
this sin with him, but he recanted when freed from the torture and witnessing before
the papal commission, saying he could not remember ever having made such a
4. As to the omission of the consecrating words in saying mass. At the trials in Spain
and in Cyprus numerous priests testified that they witnessed many celebrations of the
mass by the order but that they had always been in proper form. Some testified they
had observed a slight deviation from the general practice, but said that when the
Templars received their rules it was not customary to elevate the cup or the host, this
form having been directed as late as the Lateran Council in 1215. (14) In France,
however, torture secured the testimony that the mass had not been celebrated by the
order according to the proper ritual.
5. The testimony about the idol. On this subject all sorts of admissions were obtained.
Some declared the Templars worshipped it and that it was produced whenever a
neophyte was received; others said it was worshipped in secrecy in the chapters. Its
form was of every imaginable character. It was a "quoddam caput," i.e. a sort of head
of reddish color; it resembled a human being; it was black and had a human form; it
had sparkling eyes that lighted up a dark room; it was made of gold and had a long
gray beard; it had a double face; it had three faces; it looked like a beautiful woman; it
was garbed like a Templar in a priestly robe. An English Minorite described it as a
calf; some said it was the statue of a boy about three feet tall and had two or four legs
joined to the face. A few persisted they had never heard of the idol while some
admitted they had heard about it but had never seen it. Others were positive it looked
like a tom-cat; a raven; a painting; a drawing. The testimony of a few reads that the
idol would answer any questions put to it by the president of the chapter; and some
swore that the devil himself or demons in the form of pretty women came to them
with whom they had sexual intercourse.
In summing up the main points brought out by the trial we must consider the
1. That the majority of the witnesses belonged to the class of servientes whose
confessions were obtained chiefly by torture and that the same witnesses at different
times contradicted their statements. In 1307 there were from fifteen thousand to
twenty thousand Knights Templars in France, and of that number only fourteen
knights proper were tried as compared with one hundred and twenty- four servientes.
In 1310 out of five hundred and forty-six called before the inquisition only eighteen
were knights, all the others belonged to the servientes. (16)
2. At Paris, Rheims, and Sens one hundred and thirty-three died from torture because
they would not perjure themselves and incriminate their order.
3. The eight Grand Preceptors of Apulia, Provence, Normandy, England, Upper and
Lower Germany, Aragon and Castile, all persisted in maintaining the innocence of the
Templars, while only three preceptors, those of France, Guienne and Cyprus admitted
the charges, and then only after severe torture.
4. A large number of those who confessed under constraint recanted after they were
free again, and others stated before the tortures began that any confession wrung from
them by violence would be untrue.
5. The nature of the crimes admitted was conditioned by the severity of the torture.
6. Numerous church councils declared the order innocent of the charges.
7. Two neophytes in England refused to leave the 'order despite threats and flattering
promises. Would they have remained loyal to the Templars had they been subjected to
humiliating ordeals upon entrance?
8. The worship of the idol was said to have been service to a new religion established
by the Templars. And yet no Templar was willing to profess his supposed faith and
endure martyrdom for this cause. Is it likely that thousands who had been unwillingly
forced to abjure the Christian faith and to worship an idol would - have refused the
opportunity to return to mother church when that was possible?
9. In spite of all the searching investigations made in the different chapters in all the
countries only one image or idol was found, and that was in the fol m of a small locket
which a Templar had obtained in the orient as a trinket.
10. The Bishop of Beirut who had administered communion to the Templars for forty
years had found no fault with them. And the priests to whom they had gone for
confession swore they had never heard about the errors charged against the order.
1 1 . The crimes of which they were accused were the same as were laid up against all
heretics in the Middle Ages, such as the Waldenses, the Albigenses, the Knights of St.
John, and were the same as the king of France, Phillip IV, had not hesitated to charge
against Boniface VIII.
12. If we are to believe the testimony of the Templars with respect to sacrilege and
immorality then we must believe their statements about intercourse with the devil or
demons in the form of voluptuous women. That is utterly absurd.
13. Finally we must not forget that the prime movers in the process against the
Templars were the two most unscrupulous men in Europe, Phillip IV and —his
subservient minister, William Nogaret.
There can be no doubt that the servientes were guilty of certain irregularities, and it is
quite possible that even among the knights proper gross offenses were committed
occasionally. They had become proud, greedy, conscious of their power, and
sometimes arrogant. But what human organization has even had a perfect
membership? The Christian ministry on the whole is composed of men of high ideals
and noble character, and yet, if any man were to make a searching examination of
crimes peipetrated by a small number of professed preachers of the Gospel he could,
without much difficulty, at the beginning of the twentieth century, establish a catalog
of sins which would make the ministry appear one of the most corrupt organizations
in modem society. But no one thinks of blaming on the entire church the moral errors
of a few hypocrites or degenerates.
The fact is that Phillip IV had determined to destroy the Templars. The trial served
only as an excuse for his action; no testimony favorable to the order was admitted in
the evidence obtained by the persecutors; the procedure was absolutely one-sided, the
one object constantly pursued being conviction. It may be that the Knights Templars
had outlived the time of their usefulness, nevertheless from beginning to end in France
the trial was a farce, nay it was worse than that, it was a travesty of justice without
parallel in history, and the dissolution of the order was a tragedy.
The following works may be recommended for further investigation of this subject
and have been used in preparing this paper.
1. Finke, Papsttum und Untergang des Tempelordens.
2. Gmelin, Die Tempelherren.
3. Lea, H.C., History of the Middle Ages, Vol. III.
4. Langlois, in Deux Mondes, Vol. 103.
5. Langlois, in Revue Historique, Vol. 40, 177-8.
6. History of Masonry and Concordant Orders, Henry L. Stillson, Editor-in-chief.
7. Perkins, in English Historical Review, Vol. 24. 8.
8. Schottmueller, Untergang des Templerordens.
9. Le Roulx, J. D., in Revue des Questions Historique, Vol. 48.
10. Pmtz, Tempelherren Orden.
11. Wilcke, Geschichte des Ordens der Tempelherren.
Important documentary evidence may be found in Schottmueller, III:
A. Processus Poiteriensis.
B. Excerpta Processus Anglici.
C. Inquesta faca et habita Bmndisio.
D. Processus Cypricus.
E. Processus in Patrimonio.
In Finke, Papsttum und Untergang des Templerordens, Vol. II, are letters, addresses
and opinions on the history of the fall of the Templars, reports of the Aragonese
ambassador relative to the General Council at: Vienne, and the answers of the king.
(1) Langlois, in Deux Mondes, Vol. 103, p. 384
(2) Langlois, in Deux Mondes, Vol. 103, p. 386.
(3) Lea, History of the Middle Ages, Vol. 3, p. 243.
(4) Finke Papsttum and Untergang des Tempelordens, P. 6.
(5) Schotimueller, Untergang des Tempelordens, p 132.
(6) Lea, Vol. 3, p. 263.
(7) Finke, p. 330.
(8) Schottmueller, 191.
(9) Le Roulx, Revue Quest. Historique, Vol. 48, 43-45.
(10) Finke, 341.
(1 1) Lea, 270-273, Schottmueller, 141, 200.
(12) Perkins, English Historical Review, Vol. 24, p. 441.
(13) Schottmueller 630; Fink 335.
(14) Schottmueller, 632.
(15) Schottmueller, 633; Lea, 270.
(16) Finke, 335; Schottmueller, 237.
— 0 —
THE KNIGHT TEMPLAR
I made them lay their hands in mine and swear
To win the heathen and uphold the Christ.
To ride abroad redlessing human wrongs,
To speak no slander, no, nor listen to it;
To lead sweet lives in purest chastity.
MASONIC HOMES - PART 2
BY BRO. SILAS H. SHEPHERD. WISCONSIN
MONTANA has a home eight miles from Helena which was established in 1909 at a
cost of $83,526.45. There is at present an indebtedness of $15,500, but $5,500 is in
sight to pay the first of January, 1916. There is a family of 12. The cost per capita for
maintenance the past year was $353.16. The future of the home is bright.
Nebraska has a home at Plattsmouth which was established in 1903. It has assets of
$21 1,653.29. This home is controlled by a stock company of which the Grand Lodge
holds 516 shares, the Grand Chapter R.A.M. 110 shares, the Grand Commandery K.T.
56 shares, the Grand Council R. and S. M. 16 shares, and the other shares by
individuals, subordinate lodges and other Masonic bodies. The O.E.S. has always
assisted in every way possible. The family consists of 22 men, 20 women, 6 boys and 9
girls. The cost per capita for maintenance is $229.92.
New Hampshire has a home at Manchester which was established in 1903 at a cost of
$28,000. It is an imposing three story and basement building with large colonial porch
and is surrounded by beautiful lawns. There is a family of 16 adults although it was
originally intended for oiphans, but no application has ever been made for oiphans. The
cost per capita for maintenance is $475. It is supported by a 50 cent per capita tax.
New Jersey has a Masonic Home and Oiphanage at Burlington which was established
in 1898 at a cost of $125,000, and which has a present valuation of $140,000. It has
other resources of $127,000. There is a well stocked and prosperous farm in connection
with it. The present family consists of 45 men, 24 women, 8 boys and 10 girls. The cost
per capita for maintenance is $277.76. It is supported by a 30 cent per capita tax and a
fee of $5.50 for each initiate.
New York has a home at Utica which was established in 1902 at a cost of $638,965.24.
Its present membership of 428 consists of 177 men, 125 women and 126 children. The
cost per capita for maintenance is $208. It is supported by a 50 cent per capita tax. A
high state of efficiency is maintained and the children are educated in a most
satisfactory manner; many of them are qualified to occupy important positions as
teachers, musicians, clerks, stenographers and mechanics. Some of the children play as
many as four instruments. At present the Knights.Templar are erecting a children's
building, the lower part of which will be devoted to manual training puiposes.
North Carolina has two homes. The Masonic Orphans' Home at Oxford is now in the
42nd year of its usefulness and is an example of Masonic precepts made practical. This
home cares for 370 children only a small percentage of whom are the children of
Masons. (In 1914 it was 45). There is a farm, printing office, manual training school,
and the children do many things to help meet the expenses. The cost per capita for
maintenance is $1 13.98. The Masonic and Eastern Star Home was completed and
opened January 12, 1914. The building, costing $22,000, is a three-story fire proof
structure and will accommodate 65 guests. It is located just beyond the city limits of
Greensboro on a 30 acre tract. The property is valued at $48,000. There are at present
27 guests. The cost per capita for maintenance is about $218. The secretary of the
Home board says: "We are more than satisfied with our Home. We are caring for our
unfortunate members in a systematic manner and we know that Masonry is stimulated
by our results."
New Mexico has no home but is accumulating a fund for that puipose.
Ohio has a home near Springfield, on an estate of 1 50 acres, which was established in
1897. The principal buildings are a main building, a boys' cottage, a girls' cottage and a
hospital; these with the power plant and farm buildings are estimated at a valuation of
$365,000. There is an endowment fund of $153,964 which with other funds make total
assets of nearly $600,000. The family consists of 89 men, 63 women, 31 boys and 22
girls. The cost per capita for maintenance is $183.84. A per capita tax of 30 cents is
levied to support the home.
Oklahoma has a home at Darlington, which was formerly the Indian School
Reservation, and consists of 674 acres of land valued at $65,700, and buildings valued
at $106,000, which with other assets total $191,049.02. It was opened as a Masonic
Home in 1910. The family consists of 29 adults and 105 children. The cost per capita
for maintenance is $202.56. It is supported by a per capita tax of 75 cents and a fee of
$5.00 on each E.A. initiated. A new boys' dormitory at a cost of $36,000, and several
minor improvements, have been made the past year.
Pennsylvania has three homes. The Broad Street Home and the William Elkins
Oiphanage are under the control of a coiporation composed of various Masonic bodies
and individual Masons and Lodges, under the title of The Masonic Home of
Pennsylvania. It is now in the 3 1st year of its usefulness. The Broad Street Home
shelters 88 residents. The cost per capita for maintenance in 1912 was $171.13. The
William Elkins Oiphanage has a family of 41 girls and 47 women. The cost per capita
for maintenance in 1912 was $197.48. These homes have total assets of $981,636.84.
The home at Elizabethtown which was opened in 1913 is the Grand Lodge Home and
was built at a cost of $1,188,023.93. It is really a Masonic city as the many buildings,
streets, etc., defy a brief description. There is an estate of 982 acres and farm industries
are carried on in a manner quite consistent with Pennsylvania methods in everything
Masonic, which means on the most stupendous plan possible. This home is the largest,
costliest and most extensive of any Masonic Home in the world and will accommodate
700 people. Although the original investment was large the building goes on and each
section of the state seems to vie with the others in who best can work to improve this
magnificent home. The family November 15, 1914, were 78 men, 79 women and 20
children. The cost per capita for maintenance has not been given as yet.
Rhode Island has no home but has a "Home fund" which is being enlarged by a 10 cent
per capita tax. The start of this fund was a Grand Lodge appropriation in 1912.
South Carolina decided some years ago to build a Masonic home and created a fund for
that puipose which has now reached $100,000, which the Grand Lodge decided the
minimum for starting a home. They have, however, decided not to enter at once into an
enterprise of which they do not feel a certainty of success and are at present caring for
the needy with the income or surplus of the fund.
Tennessee has a Masonic Widows' and Orphans' Home at Nashville which was
established in 1892. It has property valued at $50,000. There are at present t79
residents. The cost per capita for maintenance is $127.37. The home is supported by a
per capita tax of 75 cents. The Old Masons' Home is now in the course of construction
and will be opened in the near future.
Texas has two homes. The home at Fort Worth is under the control of the Grand Lodge
and represents an investment of $226,325 and has an endowment fund and cash on
hand of $200,000. The family consists of 36 women, 101 girls and 1 12 boys. The cost
per capita for maintenance last year was $225.12. The home for Aged Masons at
Arlington was established in 1911 at a cost of $78,000. In 1914 there was a family of
62. The cost per capita for maintenance was $200. It is supported by the Royal Arch
Virginia has a Home for Orphans two miles from Richmond which was established in
1890. They have an estate of 63 acres valued at $100,000, and an endowment fund of
$30,000. There are at present 68 children in the home. The cost per capita for
maintenance is $223.32. It is supported by a 75 cent per capita tax. Virginia has not
done anything definite in regard to the home for aged Masons, their wives and widows,
which they were contemplating.
Washington has a Masonic and Eastern Star home at Puyallup which was completed in
January, 1914. It is located on high ground which commands a beautiful view. In
addition to the home property they have $65,000 in investments. The family in June,
1915, consisted of 37. The cost per capita for maintenance is $228.95. A bequest of
$150,000 has been made to the home but it is not available for present use.
Wisconsin has a home at Dousman which is under the management of Wisconsin
Consistory, A. A. S. R. The home will, however, soon.be turned over to the Grand
Lodge and a per capita tax of 50 cents levied for its support. It has a family of 12 adults.
When the Grand Lodge assumes control it will probably be enlarged both in building
and in the sphere of its usefulness.
To recapitulate there are 29 jurisdictions which have Masonic Homes, seven of which
have more than one. They represent an investment of nearly ten million dollars and
provide shelter for 4129 brothers or those near and dear to them.
We have endeavored to describe the more prominent statistical features of the Masonic
Homes of the United States. Words are inadequate to describe the good they are doing.
None but the active workers in this field of usefulness comprehend what real homes
they are. Bro. Bumpus says in describing conditions at Nashville: "It is a harmonious
family, and we dare say that nowhere is there a place where love and contentment reign
more supreme than in the Masonic Widows' and Orphans' Home of Tennessee. Lives
are being shaped; character is being moulded; distress is being relieved; hunger is being
appeased; sorrow is being comforted; what higher, what nobler work, could we do,
Brethren, so far as this world is concerned?"
P. G. M. Elrick C. Cole of Kansas, said: "Personally my pride in these children of the
Grand Lodge of Kansas is much greater at the close of this year than at any other time.
Having had occasion to visit other Grand Jurisdictions where no Home has been
provided, either for the orphans of deceased Masons or for the aged and infirm who are
entitled to our protection, I have found myself expressing the greatest thankfulness to
those who in the years gone by fought the battles which gave to the Grand Jurisdiction
of Kansas this magnificent monument to our thoughtfulness for those who need our
Hundreds of expressions of this kind might be quoted from those who have had a
personal observation of the Homes while the critic is invariably doing so from a
distance. "Figures don't lie," but Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth contain elements not
demonstrable by a mathematical process. The cost of maintenance may sometimes
appear excessive but the unfortunate dependents require and should receive more than
mere financial aid. The aged require a care and kindness not afforded by simply
supplying their physical necessities, and the orphan should not be intrusted to any but
those in whom we can place implicit trust. A Masonic Home furnishes these
RULES OF ACTION
"Love all, trust a few,
Do wrong to none; be able for thine enemy
Rather in power than use; and keep thy friend
Under thy own life's key; be checked for silence,
But never tasked for speech."
- Shakespeare. All's Well that Ends Well.
EDWIN MARKHAM - POET OF BROTHERHOOD
BY JOSEPH FORT NEWTON
AMONG the poets of America now living there is none greater, alike in personal
character and wealth of genius, than Edwin Markham, who is the noblest Masonic
singer since Robert Bums. Sweet of heart, with a mind full of benign light, he sings of
the old simplicities and sanctities which must lie at the basis of individual worth and
social welfare, the while he teaches us to see and to follow "that thread of all-
sustaining Beauty that runs through all and doth all unite." He is, indeed, the supreme
poet, since Whitman, of the goodly, gracious gospel of Brotherly Love so much
needed in the world now and always. Here follows a brief sketch of the man, with an
appreciation of his genius as a singer and a seer.
There is nothing for surprise that such a man descends from a sturdy ancestry, both
intellectual and moral. On his paternal side his lineage runs back to Colonel
Markham, the first cousin and secretary of William Penn, and later acting governor of
Pennsylvania. His maternal line, through the Winchells, runs back into the best stock
of New and Old England and Holland. Our poet was born in Oregon, in 1852, whither
his pioneer parents had moved from Michigan. His father dying when the boy was
little more than four years of age, we find him living with his mother and brother in
one of the remote romantic valleys of California. His mother was a woman of rather
silent nature— his brother was deaf and dumb— and the lad was left much alone with
nature and his own inner life. Years of quiet brooding, while he followed the cattle or
folded the sheep, developed depth and originality of mind, evoking the poet-soul
within him. Memories of those days when he was a shepherd boy find echo in his
poems, as, for example, in "The Heart's Return."
Partly, at least, his gift of song was an inheritance, for his mother, albeit so quiet and
reserved, was a lover of poetly and a writer of verse on her own account. Some of her
lines were frequently to be found in the papers of the time. The first money that
Edwin earned was twenty-five dollars for ploughing a neighbor's field, which his
mother told him was his, and that he might have whatever he wished to buy with it.
He bought books- Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, and the poems of Tennyson,
Bryant and Moore, ft is not difficult to imagine the use to which he put those precious
volumes in the leisure that was his in the peaceful valley of Suisun, where he tended
the flocks and herds. His chance for early technical training was slight— about three
months in the year, and not always that— but he studied diligently, making the best
use of whatever books came his way. Also, he worked and dreamed and laid plans, in
such various ways as ambitious boys can devise, until at eighteen he entered the State
Normal School at San Jose, and later finished his school work at Christian College,
Santa Rosa. Believing in the value of handicraft, he mastered the secrets of
blacksmithing, and wrought at the forge for a time. But a man of his genius was not
allowed to remain at the forge, and he was soon called to other and higher service.
Markham was made a Mason in Acacia Lodge No. 92, at Coloma, California, in the
early eighties, and he has an abiding interest in the Order. From the first the Spirit of
Masonry moved him deeply, as was natural for a man to whom Brotherhood is not
only "the crest and crowning of all good," but religion in its deeper name, and who
"The fine audacities of honest deed,
The homely old integrities of soul,"
must be the foundation alike of personal character and social beauty. He reckons
Masonry among the deep, quiet, beautiful forces destined to soften the hard winter of
the world into a great summertime of friendship and goodwill. Of one who is so
chaste of soul, so aglow with the joy of life and the wonder of the world, and so
brotherly withal, it may be said that he has found the Master's Word. His friend
Joaquin Miller said of him years ago:
"Markham has always seemed to me the purest of the pure; the cleanest minded man
of all the many great and good of his high calling I have known, and it has been my
high privilege to know nearly all of the great authors of Saxon lands this last third of a
With Markham poetry is not a byplay, nor a soft sensuous sentimentality, but a high
and heavenly vocation, the fit vehicle for the expression of the truths that make us
men. There is something of the urge of divine necessity in all his song, and a sense of
consecration. It is the prophetic element that one feels in his music, as of a man who
has heard unutterable things and must speak. One cannot read "The Whirlwind Road,"
for instance, without being reminded of St. Paul and the company of those who live
the dedicated life. For him the home of the poet is on the heights, and his mission is
one of leadership— no "idle singer of an empty day," but a pilot voice foretelling a
"Life is a mission stem as fate,
And song a dread apostolate.
The toils of prophecy are his,
To hail the coming centuries—
To ease the steps and lift the load
Of souls that falter on the road.
He presses on before the race,
And sings out of a silent place,
And the dim path he breaks today
Will sometime be a trodden way."
Resolutely he has held himself true to this high ideal of his art, refining his gold and
bringing to it every test, and few men of our day have more to tell us. Back of all the
poetry of Markham lies a grand philosophy which sees that the great Soul of the
World is just, and loving too. For him the import of life is deep, deeper than time and
the grave, and an awful but judicial Spirit moves behind our human scene, weighing
the stars, weighing the deeds of men. He is a hushed worshipper before that high
benignant Spirit that goes untarrying to the reckoning hour, defeating the injustices of
men. As we may read in the poem on Dreyfus
"O men that forge the fetter, it is vain;
There is a Still Hand stronger than you chain.
'Tis no avail to bargain, sneer and nod,
And shrug the shoulder for reply to God.
From the mighty hand of God— so still, yet so sure— these is no escape, here or
hereafter or anywhere. How compellingly, yet how compassionately, he teaches this
truth in many a golden song. Since George Eliot there has arisen no more strenuous
apostle of the human deed than Markham. Insistently, consistently, eloquently, he
teaches the absolute justice that lies at the root of things, and the righteousness to
which men must bow at last. Take, for example, his lines to "The Suicide." How few
the words, how vast the significance! It is a whole philosophy with one dip of the pen:
"Toil-worn, and trusting Zeno's mad belief,
A soul went wailing from the world of grief;
A wild hope led the way,
Then suddenly— dismay !
So the old load was there—
The duty, the despair!
Nothing had changed; still only one escape
From its old self into the angel shape."
No escape in life or death, save in obedience to the just and loving will of God. What
is the will of God? What, indeed, as our own hearts tell us, but that we must be pure of
heart and brotherly of spirit, making our daily bread "brother-bread," and living to
serve our fellow souls ? Markham has written of Religion as the Art of Life, and of
poetry as the Soul of Religion— as witness his exquisite study of "The Poetry of
Jesus." But, profoundly religious as he is, religion means for him personal chastity
and human ministry — brotherliness of spirit and deed. Therefore he bids us pray in
words, but also, and still more, in works, for purity of soul, for loving fidelity to one
another, for freedom and fellowship among men.
Like all the wise ones of old, our poet holds that we know as much as we do. Frair
Hilary, in "The Hindered Quest," inured in his cell, sought peace in vain till, hearing a
cry of human need, he went forth to do a kindly deed; then, as the Master told him—
"You turned at last your rusty key
And left the door ajar for Me,"—
which states in a thumbnail space enough for a creed and a dozen commentaries. So
also in "The Angelus," that collect for any day in the week, and for every month in the
year; and also in "The Father's Business," to name two of many poems. To the old,
brutal question of Cain, Am I my brother's keeper? Markham makes reply that we are
bom for the practice of the Golden Rule, and our destiny is to learn to live and let live,
to think and let think, building a social order that is wise and just and pure.
"There is a destiny that makes us Brothers;
None goes his way alone;
All we send into the lives of others
Comes back into our own."
Indeed, our poet holds that the need of man may be summed up in Bread, Beauty, and
Brotherhood— Bread, the symbol of physical necessities which must be met ere man
can rise to the higher human life; Beauty, that manna from heaven to feed the hungry
soul on its pilgrimage; and Brotherhood, the one prophetic word which describes the
translation of the ideal into the real. When we learn to be brotherly, men will not be
used to make money, but money will be used to make men. Aye, when we have
mastered the fine art of freedom, justice and kindly living, the weary tragedy of
human history will become a chant of victory. And until we leam the brotherly life
"we men are slaves and travel downward to the dust of graves." Here is our material;
here our tools and our divine design:
"We men of earth have here the stuff
Of Paradise— we have enough!
We need no other thing to build
The stairs into the Unfulfilled-
No other ivory for the doors—
No other marble for the floors—
No other cedar for the beam
And dome of man's immortal dream
Here on the paths of every day—
Here on the common human way—
Is all the busy gods would take
To build a heaven, to mould and make
New Edens. Ours the stuff sublime
To build Eternity in time."
America, in the vision of Markham, is the last great hope of man, because it offers an
opportunity for the practice of Brotherhood. That is its imperious errand among the
nations, and "The Need of the Hour," and all hours, is for fearless, faithful leadership
of honest and true men "star-led to build the world again"— such leadership as we had
when Lincoln lived. Surely Markham has written the noblest of all poems in praise of
Lincoln. There is not another like it anywhere. If he had written nothing else, he
would be entitled to our lasting and grateful remembrance. In a wild and fateful hour,
when the nation was in dire plight, the Norn-Mother bent the heavens and came down
to make a man to match the mortal need:
"She took the tried clay from the common road—
Clay warm yet with the genial heat of earth—
Dashed through it all a strain of prophecy;
Then mixed laughter with the serious stuff.
It was a stuff to wear for centuries,
A man that matched the mountains and compelled
The stars to look our way and honor us."
Truly he is a "good gray poet"-blessings on his head !--so gracious to know, so
glorious to hear, simple, unaffected, kindly, athrob with faith and hope and love. His
last book, "The Shoes of Happiness," is in some ways his best. His message is the
same as of yore, but it becomes richer, deeper and more varied in its exposition— sun-
bright sonnets, deep-hearted lyrics coming to the aid of stories, parables and
quatrains— and Longfellow might envy the exquisite grace of "The Jugglers of
Touraine." The group of songs under "The Hero of the Cross," notable alike in insight
and art, are reverent, austere, beautiful, and worthy of high rank in the Christian
Melody. He is of those who know the way to Emmaus, and the White Comrade who
journeys with us when we walk that sunset path. The first lines of this last book are
familiar to our readers, but they are too characteristic of the inclusive fellowship of
the man and the wise strategy of his love to omit:
"He drew a circle that shut me out—
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout,
But love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in."
Apollo has been kind to our poet-friend and Brother, granting him in its fullness the
prayer of Horace: a sane and healthy old age consoled by sweet song. His idealism has
not waned with the years. Time has taught him a deeper faith that forereaches the
greater tomorrow that he so surely sees is on the way. It may not come in perfectness
in his day, or in ours, but come it will, as morning follows night:
"Come, clear the way, then, clear the way;
Blind creeds and kings have had their day.
Break the dead branches from the path;
Our hope is in the aftermath—
Our hope is in heroic men,
Star-led to build the world again.
To this event the ages ran:
Make way for Brotherhood— make way for Man ! "
"AMERICA FOR ME"
By Henry Van Dyke
June, 1 909
'Tis fine to see the Old World, and travel up and down
Among the famous palaces and cities of renown,
To admire the crumbly castles and the statues of the kings -
But now I think I've had enough of antiquated things.
So it's home again, and home again, America for me !
My heart is turning home again, and there I long to be,
In the land of youth and freedom beyond the ocean bars,
Where the air is full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars.
Oh, London is a man's town, there's power in the air;
And Paris is a woman's town, with flowers in her hair,
And it's sweet to dream in Venice, and it's great to study Rome;
But when it comes to living there is no place like home.
I like the German fir-woods, in green battalions drilled; I like the gardens of Versailles,
with flashing fountains filled;
But, oh, to take your hand, my dear, and ramble for a day
In the friendly Western woodland, where Nature has her way !
I know that Europe's wonderful, yet something seems to lack;
The Past is too much with her, and the people looking back.
But the glory of the Present is to make the Future free -
We love our land for what she is and what she is to be.
Oh, it's home again, and home again, America for me !
I want a ship that's westward bound to plough the rolling sea,
To the blessed Land of Room Enough beyond the ocean bars,
Where the air is full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars,
IF A MAN DIE
ONCE again the white death of Winter gives way to the wonder of Spring, and the
heart of man feels the thrill and stir of that flood of life which returns to renew the
world. Soon the bare earth and the gaunt, gray hills will be clad in the living green of
rustling woods and the glint of laughing waters, as ever it has been in all the ages
agone. Time out of mind man has seen in this ancient ritual of Nature a symbol of the
life of the Soul, of a dim splendor ever on before, of a victory ever about to be realized -
a ray of light piercing "that shadow that keeps the key to all the creeds."
If a man die - aye, there is the mb, since no man knows that any man dies, save only in
appearance. Of death as we use the word and the meaning we give to it, Nature knows
nothing: there is simply no such thing. This is not to minify the grave, to which all
things mortal decline, as if it were a matter of light import. In nowise. There is
something appalling in the masterful negation and collapse of the body, and when
Tolstoi describes it we feel almost as if it had fallen upon us. It is pathetic. It is
profound. Yet we may be too easily overawed by its material aspect, and mistake a
physical fact for a spiritual tragedy. What avails it what any man may have to say about
death ? The real question is, what shall we say to it, or shall we let it have the last
After all, the chief fact about man is not his body, but his mind with its thoughts that
wander through eternity, his soul with its many- winged splendor of aspiration and of
hope. Reason, Love, and the Moral Sense - these things are of more than time and
sense, for, unless we who think of time stand in some way above and apart from it,
there could be no such idea. That is to say, if man lives by the law of his higher nature,
he must live for things which have their source and satisfaction beyond the bourne of
Time and Place. In short, man is a being who, if he be not immortal is called by the law
of his being to live and act as if he were immortal - and he is wise, whatever else may
be his folly, in that he dares to trust the prophetic promptings of his nature against the
verdict of the senses and the shadow of the grave.
But the real proof of faith lies not in logic, nor in the balancing of probabilities, but in a
certain deep and daring kind of living wherein life reveals its own eternal quality. The
real answer to all our wistful questionings is to be found in the way of Divine union,
being a fact of experience in the inward life, and it were better to be absorbed in the
quest of that union than to be ever canvassing the shadowy field of conjecture,
tormented, uncertain, and weary of heart. As the soul ascends the Mountain of the Lord
its "muddy vesture of decay" becomes less opaque, until at last, by the witness of those
who have made the venture and won the victory, assurance is made doubly sure in a
fellowship ineffable with Him whom to know aright is Life Eternal. It must be so. Life
is unbeginning, and so unending, because life is from God. Let us be content with what
is already our own, equally by virtue of Divine heredity and the right of spiritual valor
and conquest, "even life forever more" - life rich, abundant, radiant, eternal !
* * *
Three hundred years ago, April 23rd, 1616, the mighty soul of Shakespeare took its
flight from the winding Avon, whose scenes haunted all his days, to that land where
man awakens from his lofty dreams and finds his dreams still there, "and that nothing
has gone save his sleep." Shakespeare himself reckoned Julius Caesar "the foremost
man of all the world," but Caesar with his legions and his laws did not create an empire
as lasting as that which rises out of the mind of the great dramatist, who was not of an
age, but of all time, until time shall be no more and days and works are done.
Shakespeare ! To read him is like dipping into the Fountain of Youth and rising new
bom, with the flutter of happy wings in our hearts. How rich and spacious he is, how
large and free his utterance, how elemental; yet how elfin withal, the spirit of him. He
had such joy of life, despite its tragedy, such abundance of fancy flowering into poetry
and into deeds heroic even in their folly. What if we cannot tell anything new about
Shakespeare, he is new with a never-aging youth, and in company with him we can
hear the murmur of the sea and leam to look up at the stars.
How well we remember when first we listened to his lyric, rythmic lines read by a voice
now hushed, and what vistas opened before us! Riper years, bringing a less rosy
outlook, have only deepened the miracle of the crags and valleys, the lights and
shadows of that marvelous eloquence. Today we try to think of Shakespeare, and we
can only think of life and death and the soul. Merely to recite to ourselves the names of
his plays, to call the roll of our favorite characters, to let the music and the picture of the
verse steal over our minds, is like holding up jewel after jewel from an Oriental casket
and watching the flash and sparkle and play of color. It is like walking in the garden of
Alcinous, where apple falls on apple and blossom and fruit hang together on the tree.
Our thought of Shakespeare is a richly complex association. As in the great painting of
Raphael the cloud in the background, when we look closely, is seen to be made up of
innumerable faces, so about Shakespeare are gathered a cloud of shining minds. He has,
so to speak, robbed generation after generation of their store to add to his Treasuiy of
Merit, and yet he gives more than he takes; a star, as Milton said, to whom other stars
repair and fill their golden urns with light. Think of the critics who have come from the
ends of the earth, bearing their gifts of praise to lay at his feet! Think of the artists
whose embodiments of his scenes come to mind at the mention of his name ! Think of
the actors who have made their names immortal in his roles, whose melody of voice,
whose stateliness or charm of person, are blended with our memory of the poetry itself !
To think of Hamlet is to see once more the gracious figure of Edwin Booth, hear his
rich voice, and feel his lonely sadness as of a dweller in a world all beautiful even in its
sorrows. What a pageant of beauty, power and genius, all radiant in one light, passes
before us !
All of us, in the days that come not back, passed up the golden stairway into the great
main entrance of the Shakespeare theatre, led by our honored and dear teachers - some
oil whom have fallen asleep. We were instructed in the principal plays by Charles and
Mary Lamb, those first kind porters of the House Beautiful, who told us the tragic tales
in perfect English. Then we were ready to listen to Jameson, Lady Martin, Coleridge,
and Hazlitt, or to such foreign writers, used in schools, as Gervinus and Ulrici. Perhaps
at twenty we felt that we knew Shakespeare, but the years have taught us that we do not
know him, and may hever live to measure the height and depth of his vast genius.
One turns it about and turns it about, said sweet Mary Coleridge, and it is all there;
everything in Shakespeare except the Bible. Of course that is exaggeration, but it is true
that he is lord of more domains than any other poet that ever lived. Supreme religious
experience is almost the only realm where his genius is not assured, and he wanders
around that realm in constant wonder, and almost seems to have entered it in that
miracle of insight and art - the Tempest. No wonder Goethe said of his plays:
"These are no fictions ! You would think, while reading them, you stood before the
unclosed awful Book of Fate. The strength and tenderness, the power and peacefulness
of this man astonishes me. All the anticipations I have ever had regarding man and his
destiny, I find developed and fulfilled in the writings of Shakespeare. It seems as if he
cleared up every one of our enigmas for me, though we cannot say, Here or There is the
word of the solution. The few glimpses I have cast over his world incite me to quicken
my foot-steps forward into the actual worlds to mingle in the flood of destinies
suspended over it; and at length to draw a few cups from the great ocean of true nature."
To know Shakespeare, and the dream- men and women on his stage, and the large
simplicity, sanity, and sweetness of his spirit, is the privilege, and should be the duty of
ustall, particularly of the young who need the touch upon their hearts of great and wise
minds. His clear waters, let us pray, will make us long forget the draughts we have
drawn thus far down the ways of time, from the stream befouled by wallowings of the
swine of unclean art and gross sensuality. For he has the purity of Nature, its vastness
and serenity, and the depth of a sky full of stars.
* * *
THE LONE STAR
The hearty endorsement of the Research Society and its journal, and of its text-book
The Builders, by the Grand Lodge of Texas is very highly appreciated, the more so
because it came entirely unsought and as a complete suiprise, as did a like endorsement
by the Grand Lodge of Indiana. Ye editor must be allowed to express his personal joy at
these words of confidence and sanction from the Grand Lodge of his native state, under
whose flag his mother was bom when it was a republic, before it had been annexed to
the Union. Thus the tug of times, the pull of family ties and historic associations, join
with Masonic love and interest, making such an unqualified endorsement doubly
grateful. From the report we read these words:
"A copy of The Builders is presented to every newly raised Mason in every Lodge in
Iowa. We have recently read this little volume and can commend it, without reserve, to
every Mason in Texas. It is authentic, written in charming style, and the author's
references to authorities comprise the whole range of the standard Masonic books, thus
enabling the reader to extend his course of reading into wider fields.... The Grand
Lodge of Iowa, under the leadership of its able Committee on Masonic Research, found
out what to do and they are doing it. The membership of the Research Society is
increasing rapidly, and The Builder, its monthly magazine, devoted exclusively to
Masonry, is coming up to a high standard, and the work of the Society as laid out
certainly promises to move the boundaries of Masonic Research in this country up to
higher ground. Every Mason, wherever he resides, is welcome to become a member of
the Society at a nominal cost for annual dues and the magazine is sent free. The Society
is also issuing a number of lectures and papers of great merit and sold at a nominal cost.
It is not operated for profit, but all revenues are used in extending and improving the
work of the Society. It has the full sanction of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, one of the
most conservative and yet one of the most progressive of our affiliated Grand Bodies.
Its great Masonic-Library, at Cedar Rapids, is the admiration of the whole Country."
* * *
It occurred to us to send a proof of the appreciation of Edwin Markham, which appears
in this issue, to the good gray poet himself, that he might have due and timely warning
and be the better able to ward of approaching danger. Whereupon we received the
following letter which we venture to reproduce, not so much for its kind words in
response, but to show that we did not misread the spirit and message of our dear poet-
friend and Brother, the very thought of whom is like music.
My Dear Newton:
You quite overpower me with the words in your finely written article on, "Edwin
Markham, Poet of Brotherhood." Your highly commendatory words will perhaps do no
harm to my habits of thought, since praise only makes me humble.
I observe that you get the spirit of my poems, look into the heart of my life's puipose. I
do believe in Chastity and Solidarity. I do believe that we must come to look on bridal
love with a deep reverence, and also must begin to labor for the realization of fraternity.
Brotherhood is the hope of the world and it is the business of all earnest men to
endeavor to find a material basis for brotherhood. The State must become the organ of
I thank you for the brotherly kindness that prompted you to write the article. It will help
to make my truth - your truth - known to thousands of serious men. Again I wish to tell
you of the delight and stimulus I am finding in your three volumes of "Sermons and
Yours in the great hope
EVER so often the question comes up, why is it that we have so little really great
Masonic poetry? Several Brethren have raised it of late in their letters to us, pointing
out that while we have verse a plenty, and much of it very good indeed, it very rarely
rises above the level of verse until the Brother who wrote it dies - as in the story the
verse of the little girl was called poetry after she had gone away. They are puzzled to
know why this should be so. Masonry is a Chamber of Imagery, rich in suggestion,
many of its Degrees acted poems, and they cannot understand why, with such a wealth
of types, allegories, emblems and sentiment we do not have more and better Masonic
The late Robert Morris, so widely known and well beloved among us, for many years
the Poet Laureate of the Order, often pondered this very same question. In the preface
to the last edition of his volume of "The Poetry of Freemasonry" he returned to it for the
last time, not long before he went away
"To that far land, far beyond storm and cloud
To that bright land, where sun doth never set
To that life land which has nor tomb nor shroud
And Brothers meet again who oft have met."
But he did not solve the mystery. He names a number of men who in his day, and
earlier, had written distinctively Masonic poetry, such as Mackay, Percival, George
Morris, Yates, Vinton, and he might have added Pike and Boutelle. He praises their
poems, some of which he reproduces in his volume - none of them, we venture to think,
equal to his own melodious lines. But what puzzles him most is why great poets like
Scott, Lamartine, Moore, Cowper, Hogg, Burns, Prentice and others, all members of the
Order - he might have added Pope, Byron, Lessing - did not write Masonic poetry.
Then he asks the question:
"And why is this? Does not the subiect of Freemasonry suggest to the noetic mind a
flight skyward ? If religion constitutes so favorable a theme for poets because of its
extraordinary array of imagery, does not Freemasonry abound even more in such things
? The very nature and purpose of our Order is to teach one thing by means of another -
to suggest an inward truth by an outward emblem. Robert Bums found in the murmur
of a brook and the warbling of a bird the voice of his mistress. Walter Scott saw
through the outlines of a msty lancehead or a broken pair of sours the imagery of a
well-fought field. Thomas Moore drew from the twang of a ricketty lute wails of
lamentation for the decadence of his green old Ireland. All this in the nature of
suggestion, the very essence of poetry. Yet these men could look coldly upon the most
pregnant images of Freemasonry; they could listen to a rehearsal of the Masonic
covenants without once considering the inexhaustible mine of poetic thought of which
these were only the surface. As compared with any other theme, I would give the
preference to Symbolical Masonry as the richest in poetic thought, and I can only hope
that the day is not distant when a great poet will arise to be to Freemasonry what Scott
was to chivalry, Moore to patriotism, Bums to rustic love."
Oddly enough he does not name Goethe, who did write distinctively Masonic poetry -
and, of course, Kipling came later - but Morris himself was the Masonic poet of his
own day; not a great poet, perhaps, but a noble and sweet singer, and one of the best
interpreters of Masonry in any day. Few have ever used our emblems with more insight
and skill, as in his poems on the Square, the Trowel, the Level, the Apron, and many an
eloquent melody. But must we limit Masonic poetry to verse which weaves our
symbols and emblems into its lines? Surely not. That is too narrow a conception of
Masonic poetry, and when we put it aside there is no problem left to solve, no question
to discuss. Usually, if we make a few exceptions - such, for example, as the Kipling
poems on The Palace and the Mother Lodge - the finest Masonic poetry makes scant
use of our familiar emblems. Instead, it sets the soul, the spirit, the genius, the truth of
Masonry to high and haunting song - and that is real Masonic poetry.
When was Robert Bums most tmly a Masonic poet? When he wrote of the Apron, or
when he sang in notes almost divine of the rights of man, the dignity of the soul, the
kinship of all living things, and the coming of love and pity? Markham seldom, if ever,
makes use of Masonic emblems, but who else in our day has set the soul of Masonry to
more authentic music? Of those who have sung of the deeper meanings of Masonry,
and its place in the mystical quest of the soul for God, there is no one like Edward
Waite, no one near him. Susan Coleridge was not a Mason, but her lines called Soul
Builders are tmly Masonic, and so is that unforgetable poem by Margaret Wood, The
Builders - a vision of the grey old Abbey of England, of "ye builders of old" who lifted
it heavenward, and of the mighty dead who sleep there.
Let us always remember that Poetry is as free as a "sweet bird of dawn singing the long
epic of the world," and is not tied to any one system of symbolism. To its vivid soul all
nature is an infinite parable, and life the very breath of the Eternal. It is a priest to us all
of the strange and solemn wonder of the world, the daughter of the Voice of God telling
us, in tales and golden histories, that the race must become partner with the mighty
Father-Soul in His labors of love and beauty, "if its heart of rhythm and soul of fire are
to stand fully revealed."
* * *
Responding to many requests, we have it in mind to suggest a series of brief reading
courses for both Rites of Masonry and each of its branches, in the hope that they may
serve as guides to Brethren who wish to undertake the study of Masonry either
individually or in groups or clubs. From the number of such requests that reach us from
all over the country, we believe that the work of this Society is beginning to tell in
behalf of a more systematic study of the history and meaning of Masonry. By way of
introduction, we offer the following suggestions:
First of all, let a man make himself familiar with the ritual of the Order as exemplified
in the Jurisdiction in which he lives - not necessarily memorizing it, but having it well
in mind. If his Grand Lodge has no authorized Monitor, he may select some Monitor
generally accepted as standard - either by Shaver, Mackey, Sickel, or Simons. As he
reads what is written, or recalls what is unwritten, let him keep always in mind the little
word Why ? - why is the Lodge so arranged ? Why are things done so and so? Perhaps
he will some day ask why a ritual at all? If so, he will enter a most fascinating field,
tracing the idea, the necessity, the use and significance of ritual, not only in Masonry,
but in the church, the state, and in all the ceremonial of life.
Second, a man ought to know the history of his Lodge and of the Grand Lodge under
whose obedience it is holden, their laws, constitutions, organization, and genealogy -
their place on the great family-tree of Masonry. This will introduce him to the study of
organized Masonry as in institution, in this country and throughout the world, its
variations, its Rites - including not only the "York" and Scottish Rites, but other Rites
as well, such as the Swedenborgian. From such a study will come a new conception of
the vastness of Masonry as a world- wide fraternity, the existence of which is
Third, he will naturally ask whence came this great Order which seeks to organize
Brotherhood and make it operative, and so he will be led to look into the history of
Masonry, following it back through modern times to the founding of the Grand Lodge
of England - the story of which every Mason should know in detail. Here his study will
branch out fanwise: he will want to know the conditions of the age, the state of the Craft
before and at the time the mother Grand Lodge was formed, the causes that led to its
formation, how far it was a "revival," how much, if anything, was added to Masonry at
that time - added from whence, by whom, and why - how far the Masonry of today is
simply a development from and an elaboration of old Craft Masonry.
Fourth, and this will bring him to the interesting study of ancient Craft Masonry, in
which every Mason should be well-grounded by a study of its earliest documents,
which were a part of its ritual, known to us as the Old Charges and Constitutions - the
title deeds of our Masonic inheritance, and estate. Here again a throng of questions
come up for study: what is the place of architecture in human life, and why does it
dominate the other arts, binding them into one, harmonizing, controlling, directing
them; in answer to which he will see why the trade of the architect became symbolical
and took a spiritualized form, while other trades did not. The study of the Old Charges,
in the setting of the times from which they date, will take him back into the foundations
of modem life and thought; and he can go as deep down and as far back as he pleases.
Fifth, and the further he goes in his study the more natural, inevitable and eloquent will
the symbols of Masonry become, and he will look upon them with a new veneration the
while he seeks to interpret, (1) what they meant in olden time, (2) the secret tradition
which gathered and grew about them, and (3) what they mean, or should mean, to him
now as teachers of the truth that makes for character, right conduct, and a valid faith
and hope. It is some such scheme as this that we have in mind, and we propose to
suggest books throwing light upon it, giving preference, as far as possible, to books that
are accessible, inexpensive, authentic and simply written - such as Brethren may wish
to own or Lodges place in their libraries.
* * *
"SONGS FOR THE NEW AGE"
Some one has said that if we know the image in the minds of the poets of today, we
know the shape which the future will take. If that be so, there is no mistaking the
prophetic quality of the poems of James Oppenheim, whose short stories have so stirred
and thrilled thousands. They are songs of high daring and adventure of soul, fulfilled of
a beauty of their own, like psalms of a new faith, like bugle calls to a beautiful conflict,
rousing us against "the armies of the torpidly living and the complacently dead." One
reads the song of "We Unborn" and remembers the Whitman "Song of Myself," so sure
is its insight and accent of power, all aflame with rich humanity and passionate faith in
the things that ought to be true, and are true if we had eyes to see and ears to hear.
Surely a voice so deep and true and earnest will not go unheeded, even amid the wild
welter of war.
ARTICLES OF INTEREST
A Masonic Puzzle, by C. N. Mikels. Illinois Masonic Review
The Sacred Symbol, by Sir John Cockbum. American Freemason.
The Cable-Tow, by F. C. Higgins. Masonic Standard
Angles, by F. C. Higgins. Masonic Standard.
The Cathedral at Seville, by G. W. Baird. The New Age.
The Doctrine of the Scottish Rite, by David Marx. Masonic Monthly.
Dibdin's Masonic Pantomime, by R. Northcott. Londor Freemason.
* * *
Life of Shakespeare, by Sir Sidney Lee. Macmillan Co. New York, $2.00.
Bohemia Under Hapsburg Misrule, by T. Capek. Revell Co. New York, $1.00.
The Man With the Hoe and Other Poems, by Edwin Mark ham. Doubleday, Page &
Co., New York, $1.00.
Lincoln and Other Poems, by Edwin Markham. Doubleday Page Co., $1.00.
The Shoes of Happiness, by Edwin Markham. Doubleday Page Co., $1.25.
The Assurance of Immortality, by H. E. Fostick. Macmillan Co., $1.25.
Masonry and Democracy, by Governor Arthur Capper, Kansas.
THE QUESTION BOX
SHAKESPEARE A MASON?
In an article in a Masonic journal which I read recently, the name of Shakespeare
appears in a list of men of letters who were Masons. What proof is there that he was a
member of the Order? - F.G.
None at all. Shakespeare, so far as we recall makes no reference to any secret society,
though a few of his lines might be so interpreted - as, for example, a line in the play-
scene in Hamlet, to which a university student called our attention the other day. He
speaks of "the singing masons building roofs of gold," (Henry V, act 1, scene 2) and
compares them to a swarm of bees - as any poet might have done. It reminds one of a
passage in the "Complete Angler," by Isaak Walton, in which the gentle fisherman talks
of the meaning of pillars in language very like that used in a Masonic Lodge. But
Hawkins, in his edition of the Angler recalls that Walton was a friend of Elias Ashmole,
who was admitted as an Accepted Mason, and he may have learned of Masonry from
him. (Short History of Masonry, by F. Armitage, vol. II, chap. 3). Shakespeare was
indeed many-minded, and had an insatiable interest in all things human, but there is no
proof that he was a Mason. It has been claimed that one of the pall-bearers at the funeral
of Shakespeare was a Mason, and that he was named Edward Helton. The story further
tells us that Helton came to this country and was buried at Fredericksburg, Va., in 1618.
But as the town of Fredericksburg was not settled until 1622, and no trace of him has
been found, the story must be regarded as a myth. (Miscellanea Latomorum, Vol. I, pp.
67, 103. New Series).
* * *
Brother Newton: - 1 notice in the February issue of The Builder a statement that the
book, "Washington, The Man and the Mason," could be had by addressing me and
sending me the price. That is an error, which I wish you would correct. Our Association
has nothing whatever to do with the book. It is the property of the local Association in
Alexandria, and all moneys and letters regarding the book should be addressed to
Charles H. Callahan, Secretary, Alexandria, Virginia. Yours fraternally; John H.
Cowles, Washington, D. C.
* * *
"A TALE OF THE TRAIL"
Brother Editor: - In the September number of The Builder was published a poem
entitled "A Tale of the Trail ," marked "selected," and the writer has wondered if the
authorship of the lines was unknown to you. The poem was written by Brother James
W. Foley, Past Grand Master of North Dakota, and Poet Laureate of this Jurisdiction.
Brother Foley has written many good poems, one of the best of which I am sending
herewith, hoping to see it published in The Builder sometime. It is entitled "What Did
You Do," and is in tune with the spirit of the Society and its effort to arouse interest, not
only in the history of the Fraternity, but also in true Masonic living - everyday
Masonry, if you please. With best wishes, always, I am
Ralph L. Miller, North Dakota.
* * *
Dear Brother: - 1 believe that Masonry is more than "a peculiar system of morality." It
is really a part of one's religious experience. I believe also in militant Masonry. The
time is even now at hand when American Lodges must bestir themselves in order that
they may make their influence felt more widely. By "militant" I do not mean tawdry
argument and dispute, but intelligent effort to spread the universal principles which
Masonry stands for. It seems to me that the Research Society will greatly aid in this
work. There is a spiritual side of Masonry that needs to be emphasized; and to be
emphasized it must be brought to the attention of the Brethren. If Masonry means
anything, it means that Masons must so live that people will say, "Yes, he is a Mason."
That is the ideal I hold before myself, and when I fail, as I often do, still the fact that I
am a Mason nerves me to new effort. Fraternally and sincerely, J. A. Robertson. Ohio.
* * *
THE GOLDEN FLEECE
What is the Golden Fleece often referred to in presenting the Apron to an Entered
Apprentice ? Does it still exist ? I shall appreciate your reply.
It was a famous order of knighthood dating from 1430, when Philip, Duke of Burgundy
established, on the occasion of his marriage with the Infanta Isabella of Portugal, what
he called the Golden Fleece. It still exists in several countries of Europe. None but the
richest and purest bom - and they only in limited numbers - were admitted to its honors.
The badge of the order was a golden ram, which hung from a jewel of elaborate design
bearing the proud motto in Latin, "Wealth, not servile labor." (See The Builder. Vol. I.
* * *
"AN UPRIGHT MASON"
I was somewhat disappointed in your reply to J. H. H., in the January Builder when he
asked if an Entered Apprentice is not a Mason. I think you should have said, "Yes." I
have heard it declared on Masonic authority several times that "you now stand as a just
and upright Mason," and I believe he would be qualified to work as such for a limited
time at least.
- T. D. Gayle, Iowa.
An Entered Apprentice is in training to be a Mason; he has received the first lessons in
that fundamental morality which must lie at the basis of his moral and Masonic edifice.
Of course he is, in so far, a Mason; but by no analogy known to us is he entitled to
travel and work as such.
* * *
BUDDHISM AND MASONRY
Will you kindly answer the following: - (1) Could a Chinaman, who is a follower of
Buddha, be classed as a worshiper of the Deity? (2) Is it necessary for a Buddhist, on
joining a Masonic Lodge, to accept the Christian idea of God? (3) Would the fact that
he is a worshiper of idols interfere with his eligibility? - J.P.M.
(1) Speaking broadly, yes; though there are many sects in the Buddhist faith, some of
which seem to be atheistic - yet this may be only seeming, and due to the fact that their
conception of God is so unlike our own. Perhaps, in the real sense, there is no such
thing as an atheist. ( See Morals and Dogma, by Pike, p. 643.) (2) Certainly not, since
that would violate one of the first principles of the Order. Yet it is a fact that few, if any,
Buddhists have sought Masonic fellowship. (See Sidelights on Masonry, by Lawrence,
Chaps. 8, 10, 12.) (3) What we call idols must be, for thinking men, only symbols, and
as such they are an answer to the craving of the human mind for a visible emblem of the
Great Invisible. No doubt there are millions who do not see beyond the symbol, but
such benighted beings would hardly find their way to our temple gate.
* * *
MAKING MASONS AT SIGHT
Now that you have gotten your feet wet, perhaps you will take up the question of the
right of a Grand Master to make Masons at sight. I should like to have you discuss it. -
Of course, we cannot take up the question in detail here but several things may be said:
First, in ancient Craft Masonry there was obviously no such thing as making a Mason at
sight. Each Apprentice had to serve his term, master his art, and by examination be
approved as a Master - the reward of his masterpiece. Second, when the order began to
admit Accepted Masons - perhaps as early as 1 600, if not earlier - the ceremonies of
initiation were not elaborate, and often a man was made a Mason in a single evening, as
seems to have been true in the case of Elias Ashmole. Albeit, that was a different thing
from what is now called making a Mason at sight. Third, we shall not go into the
question of the "right" of a Grand Master to make a Mason at sight, except to say that it
seems to be an American invention, an American "pretension," Brother Hughan called
it which he said has no basis in the ancient history and usage of the Craft. (Masonic
Sketches and Reprints, p. 139.) Several Brethren propose to discuss this question of the
prerogative in these pages, and so we withhold opinion for the time being, not wishing
to anticipate their arguments.
* * *
THE YORK RITE
I have been a Mason for years and yet I do not understand just what is meant by the
York Rite, and I find that there are others in the same fix. Please put me to rights in this
matter. - D.S.C.
The York Rite, as it is popularly called, includes the Blue Lodge, the Chapter of the
Royal Arch, the Council, and the Knight Templar degrees, as distinguished from the
Scottish Rite. Right you are when you say that many Masons have this matter muddled,
and The Builder will soon publish an article on Masonic Rites, by Brother J. L. Carson,
of Virginia, which will be instructive. But the name "York Rite” is only a popular
name, derived from the old city of York, England, so long a center of Masonry. There
was a Grand Lodge of York, having a Rite of that name, but no one now knows what
that Rite was, and all our investigations have failed to find out. So that the name York
Rite indicates, not the Rite as practiced at York, but simply the historic city. (See
Masonic Sketches, by Hughan, p. 148.)
* * *
THE IOWA PLAN
In the report of the Committee on Proceedings of the Grand Lodges I leam that Iowa
has no Masonic home, and I am anxious to know what plan or plans the Iowa Masons
have for providing for the Widows and Oiphans of their deceased Brothers, that would
be cared for in a Home. - J.A. Stiles, Kentucky.
In general, the Iowa plan is to assist those in need by keeping them, so far as possible,
in their old environment, among their friends and associates - assisting them secretly, so
that no one save the Brethren having the matter in charge, and a few local Masons,
know anything that is being done. Iowa, however, is a young state, and does not yet feel
the pressure of the problems confronting older Jurisdictions; but it is beginning to feel
them. So far we have cared for those needing a home in various institutions in the state
for that purpose; but it is probably only a question of time until the Grand Lodge of
Iowa will need a home of some kind, albeit with its present system it will not require as
large an institution as other Jurisdictions maintain.
* * *
THE GREAT INITIATES
I have lately been much absorbed in a book entitled "The Great Initiates," by M.
Schure, and would like to know your opinion of it. I find it very interesting, but I am
often perplexed. - G.W.J.
The book referred to, like his studies of Moses, Plato, Pythagoras and others, is both
fascinating and irritating, as our Brother has confessed. We have always the feeling that
this writer, and others of his school, have the slightest and most superficial knowledge
of the systems of thought which they so light-heartedly put aside as external, if not
childish. What is more important, the esoteric wisdom which they propose to substitute
for those systems is neither particularly wise nor in any gense esoteric. When they come
to tell us the meat of the matter, there is only a series of commonplaces presented with
breathless awe as new discoveries and claimed as the specific fruit of the esoteric spirit.
When those commonplaces are admitted - and Noah must have been familiar with them
- the body of "esoteric wisdom" which remains is little more than a cloud of
speculation, interesting, and perhaps valuable, but apparently unsubstantial. Howbeit,
this is only one opinion, for what it is worth, and should be regarded as such.
* * *
THE THIRD DEGREE
I am convinced from my experience in conferring degrees that few men get from the
third Degree of Masonry anything more than a lesson in fidelity. I have in mind a brief
talk on this subject, pointing out the great truth of immortality therein taught, and wish
you would give me your suggestions. - R.L.H.
Frankly, this letter amazes us. We had never supposed it possible for any man to receive
the degree of Master Mason and miss the main point of its teaching. Oddly enough we
have hail two other letters of late confirming the observation of Brother Hickman, and
increasing our amazement. And yet, when we come to think of it, the candidate cannot
be altogether to blame. Having witnessed this Degree in several Jurisdictions, we do not
recall that the historical or explanatory lecture even mentions the sublime truth set forth.
It simply reminds the candidate that Masonry cherishes the glorious hope of a blessed
immortality - that is all. But in the Degree itself immortality is not a vague hope to be
cherished here and realized hereafter. Far from it. It is a present reality into which the
candidate is symbolically initiated; a fact to be realized in experience here and now.
Manifestly, if man is immortal at all, he is immortal now. Immortality does not concern
the future alone, or chiefly, but the life that now is, where it is needed to give amplitude
and liberty and victorious confidence amid the vicissitudes of time. How many Masons
grasp this truth in the Master Degree ? Once a man has grasped it, his whole outlook
upon life is altered, and he feels not simply the obligation, but the privilege, of living
these fleeting days in a manner befitting an immortal spirit. If our ritual does not convey
this truth, it behooves us to see that it does, first by laying hold of the truth ourselves the
better to make it vivid to others, and second by so shaping our ceremony, or at least by
so explaining it, as to make the truth unmistakable.
* * *
THE ROYAL ARCH
By the same token, if this reading of the Third Degree is right, we have the clue to a
more practical interpretation of the meaning of the Chapter degrees, as hinted in the
February issue, and which many Brethren have asked us to expound further. Brother
Mackey, as we said, held that the first three degrees in the Blue Lodge are an allegory
of the present life, and that the degrees leading to and including the Royal Arch portray
the progress of the soul in the life to come. To us that is very unsatisfactory. No, life is
one here and hereafter, now and forever, and our task is to leam to live the eternal life
in time. The discovery of this truth, as taught in the Third Degree, that the soul is
immortal now - that eternity is here, and we live in it - sets the captives free, and they
return to rebuild the fallen temple. It requires a reconstruction of the whole life. The old
foundations of righteousness remain sure and steadfast, as eternal as the mountain on
which the temple stood; and upon that foundation we must build. We cannot go further
in a brief note; but we believe that if this truth be kept in mind the Chapter degrees will
become not only more eloquent, but more profoundly practical, as showing the trials,
struggles and bafflements which beset the man who dares to live the eternal life.
Immortality is one thing; eternal life is another. Immortality we have whether we will or
no - doomed to it, unable to escape it, and it may become a burden, as we see in
philosophies of the East. The great experience is when the fact of immortality is
heightened and brightened into the glow and joy and splendor of the eternal life. Most
men do not really live, they only exist, measuring life by duration, not by depth and
beauty What matters most is not length of days, but depth of life radiance of faith, and
the fellowship of things eternal. Such a life is continuous, not something we get when
we die, but some thing that never dies.
MAKING MASONS AT SIGHT
Dear Editor: - The paper by Brother Wildey E. Atchison on "Making Masons at Sight"
probably has started something. We hope to hear more of this subject, and see whether
the exception is to be taken for the rule.
He can't do it in Nebraska. For instance in proceedings of Grand Lodge Nebraska,
1 897, a Grand Master makes his son a Mason at sight. The Grand Lodge decides as
follows: "Without entering into a discussion of the question of whether or not the
prerogative of making Masons at sight ever inhered to the office of Grand Master, we
are of the opinion that by reason of our situation and Masonic traditions, such
prerogative does not inhere in the office of Grand Master in Nebraska. The Grand
Master is the creature of the constitution of this Grand Lodge and his prerogatives are
defined and limited thereby."
Again; "Your committee on Jurisprudence beg leave to report that in their opinion Mr.
Blank is an irregularly made Mason, and recommended that the Grand Master, in
person or by proxy, be directed to go to S as soon as convenient and heal said
Blank, in due Masonic manner, first requiring the payment of fees prescribed by the
laws of the lodge within whose jurisdiction said Blank resided for conferring of the
three degrees of Massonry."
Our Grand Master attended the Taft "at sight" affair, and this is the report of Past Grand
Master Warren which was adopted 295 to 144: "That there was no error in the action of
this Grand Lodge in the resolution passed in 1 897, that said resolution was carefully
considered in committee, debated at length on the floor of this Grand Lodge and
adopted by a vote of 5 1 5 to 27. That such resolution was not wrongful but was right,
and correctly announced the true Masonic law, that the so-called prerogative of the
Grand Master of making Masons at sight does not exist and has not existed since the
year 1717; that it does not exist by virtue of any landmark or ancient regulation, and is
not conferred by the constitution or laws of this Grand Lodge. We therefore reiterate
our former declaration that the office of Grand Master of Masons in Nebraska is a
constitutional one, and that the prerogatives inherent therein are defined and limited
Bro. Atchison says nothing about the authority of a Grand Master waiving the ballot,
and electing a man to membership without charging the fee.
H. H. Andrews, Nebraska.
* * *
Dear Brother Newton: - 1 have read, in the February issue of The Builder, a query by
Brother F. S. Dunn as to the correctness of the accepted history that Frederick the Great
ever sent a sword to Washington, with a message, and, incidentally, discrediting the
friendship of these two great men as a "myth."
The history may be verified by reference to the American Cyclopedia Vol. VII, pp. 466-
7-8, the author giving reference to Carlyle's History of Frederick the Great (6 vols.,
London 1864), and to Friederick der Grosse und Katharina II, by Kurd Von Schlozer,
(Berlin 1859) and to Geschichte Freidrich's des Grossen, by F. Kugler, (7th edition,
Leipsic 1870), and to Freidrich der Grosse by Droysen, (1st Vol. 1873). Appleton's
Cyclopedia of American Biography (Vol. II) says Frederick sent a portrait of himself to
Washington with a similar message. The above citations are from standard authorities,
and not from current magazines.
But the query, Mr. Editor, in its origin at least, appears to me as having the ear-marks of
that hierarchy which has ever attacked the record of Frederick the Great: that
combination which protested against the President of the United States accepting the
memorial of Frederick the Great and which, it is believed, attempted its destruction with
dynamite soon after its dedication.
G. W. Baird, Washington, D. C.
* * *
THE SIMPLICITY OF MASONRY
Dear Brother Newton: - To me it seems that one of the strongest evidences of the true
greatness of our ancient masters, (whoever they may have been), lies in their having
been able to put into the simple working tools and the every-day task of an artisan craft
such pregnant meanings. That the lesson was well taught is proved by the survival of
the speculative order which has so far outgrown its operative parent. The greatest
teachers of all ages have used the common things around them as illustrations. The best
example is found in the words of Him whom we all call "The Master." Would there
were more Masters today great enough to point their meanings in such a way. All too
many both in and out of our order, are content to parrot the parables of the past,
thinking little of their meanings, or of the circumstances under which they were first
spoken. There is an old legend of the East to the effect that King Solomon's seal was
formed of a triangle of brass combined with one of iron, with the Most Great Name in
the center, forming the familiar sixpointed star. Through the iron triangle he governed
the spirits of darkness and evil, and through the brass he commanded the good spirits. I
have alluded to this in personifying those virtues in which love seems a necessary
Sincerely and fraternally yours,
Walter R. Reed, North Dakota.
* * *
THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE WISE
Dear Brother: - About fifteen years ago it was my pleasure to assist in raising in
Sagamore Lodge, New York City, a Brother by the name of William Churchill. He had
been Consul to Samoa under President Cleveland. He had an affinity for language and
dialect, and while in Samoa got into touch with the native tribes and was initiated into
what he translated as "The Brotherhood of the Wise." Some weeks after his being raised
in Masonry he gave a lecture on the similarity between that Brotherhood and the
Masonic Fraternity which was most remarkable, and furnished the clearest proof I have
ever known of the antiquity of the Craft. Among several things in his lecture which I
remember was this: in their barbaric work of fireworship, in the fourth degree of their
order - which was the final degree - they were taught to feed the fire from piles of
leaves in a manner which left the hands in precisely the position in which every Mason
salutes the East from the altar in the third degree. Again, the rough clothing tied in
different degrees at different positions marked in different stages of the work with
charcoal by horizontals and perpendiculars, which by the final arrangement of the
clothing for the last degree so brought the horizontals and perpendiculars together as to
form a square. This of course was among people who for centuries had been divorced,
as far as all records go, from the rest of the world. Certainly their traditions were not
received in recent days. They have kept no records, and as Brother Churchill said, they
have no legend of how it originated.
Whether Brother Churchill is still alive I do not know. He was at that time on the staff
of the New York Sun. His wife was the author of a book called "Samoa Uma,"
published by the Forest and Stream Publishing Co., New York. Perhaps it would be
worth while for you to try to locate Brother Churchill and get from him a more detailed
account of the Brotherhood of the Wise.
Cordially and fraternally,
Charles A. Alden, Illinois.
(We have kept this letter for some time, trying to locate Brother Churchill, but so far
have been unable to do so. Perhaps some member of the Society in New York city can
tell us whether he is still alive, and where he can be reached. If so, we would greatly
appreciate the information.)
* * *
THE OBLONG SQUARE
Dear Brother Newton: - In the December Builder, a brother asks the definition of "an
oblong square." In the February issue, Bro. Wm. A. Montell states that it is the L-
shaped square of which one arm is longer than the other.
I believe this is an error. Bro. Montell quotes the Standard Dictionary as defining
"oblong as something longer than it is broad. Also a square as an instrument to measure
or lay out right angles, consisting usually of two legs or branches at right angles to each
other, in L-shape." This is true, but when he finds his definition of an oblong square in
the combination of these two, and says "this L-shaped square is the oblong square of
Freemasonry," he is combining two incongruous definitions. Suppose, in order to get
the definition of a "saw-horse" I turn to "saw" and find it is "a cutting instrument with
pointed teeth arranged continuously," and to "horse" and find it is "a quadruped," and
by combining the two definitions say " a saw-horse is a quadruped having pointed
teeth," the fallacy of the argument becomes apparent.
If we examine the definition of oblong more closely, we will find that it contains an
element which cannot be applied to the L-shaped instrument. The Standard defines it as
"longer than broad: applied commonly to rectangular objects considerably but not
extremely elongated." There are other definitions given, but all indicate that the word
oblong is only applied to symmetrical figures which are longer one way than the other.
The L-shaped instrument does not form a symmetrical figure. It lacks two sides.
Therefore the word oblong cannot be applied to it.
Bro. Montell's error is a natural one, since, as the Standard Dictionary states, the L-
shaped square is used as a device in Freemasonry, but it does not say that the L-shaped
square is the oblong square.
Now what are the facts ? The L-shaped square is the carpenter's square, and its adoption
as a Masonic emblem seems to be an error. It is more commonly used in France than in
this country. The proper instrument used in Freemasonry as an emblem of the order is
the try-square of the stonemasons, having arms of equal length, and is used to test the
stone to see that it is square. Mackey states that in this country we have correctly
retained the equality of the legs, but have fallen into the error of marking the surface
with inches, as though it were an instrument to measure with, instead of simply for
squaring the work. As a Masonic emblem it is rich in symbolism, but it is not the
oblong square and therefore need not be considered further here.
What, then, is the oblong square of Freemasonry? I believe it is the survival in our
ceremonies of a term once common but now obsolete. My reading has convinced me
that at one time the word "square" meant right-angled, and the term "a square" referred
to a four-sided figure, having four right angles, without regard to the proportionate
length of adjacent sides.
There were thus two classes of squares; those having all four sides equal, and those
having two parallel sides longer than the other two. The first class were called "perfect
squares" and the second class "oblong squares." In time these terms were shortened to
square and oblong respectively, and that is the sense in which they are used at the
present time, so that when we speak of the oblong square, we are met with the
objectionthat if it is a square it cannot be oblong, and if it is oblong, it cannot be square.
This is true in the present sense of the term, but Freemasonry still retains the older
Let me give one illustration of this which any reader can easily verify. In Ivanhoe,
(about the second page of Chapter VII) Sir Walter Scott describes the ground enclosed
for the tournament as "forming a space of a quarter of a mile in length, and about half as
broad. The form of the enclosure was an oblong square, save that the corners were
considerably rounded off in order to afford more convenience for the spectators."
Our Monitors state that the form of the lodge is an oblong, but the older Monitors (at
least those I have examined), say "the form of the lodge is an oblong square." This is
substantiated by Mackey, who defines an oblong square as "A parallelogram, or four-
sided figure, all of whose angles are equal, but two of whose sides are longer than the
This is illustrated in our ritual when we speak of forming "a (not the as some
jurisdictions erroneously have it) right-angle of an oblong square." Each such square
has four right-angles and when we form the L-shaped instrument, we form but one of
these angles with two of the sides. The oblong square itself is not formed thereby, and
we should not make the mistake of identifying the two.
When we look at the symbolism of the oblong square, we find confirmation for the
statement that it does not refer to the L-shaped square. The latter, by itself not being a
Masonic emblem, has no meaning attached to it in the ritual, but the oblong square as
the symbolic form of the Masonic Lodge, has a deep significance. Mackey says, "It
finds its prototype in many of the structures of our ancient brethren. The ark of Noah,
the camp of the Israelites, the ark of the covenant, the Tabernacle, and the Temple of
Solomon were all oblong squares." This form to the ancient mind represented the world
itself, and this is the meaning which it has for Freemasons, representing the world in
which he is to live and work in the uprearing of his spiritual temple, of which King
Solomon's Temple is a type.
We say that anciently E. A.s met on the ground floor F. C.s in the Middle Chamber, and
M. M.s in the S. S. of King Soiomon's Temple. The first two were rectangular in form
and were represented by the "oblong square," but the third had all four sides equal and
in preparing to enter this " a right angle of a perfect square" is formed.
Trusting that these suggestions may throw some light on the subject for other brethren
who are struggling for the light, I am Yours fraternally
C. C. Hunt, Iowa.
THE REVERENCE OF MASONRY
The substantial attitude of reverence in all the ritual and teachings of Masonry has
deeply impressed me as I have progressed in the order and have learned more of its
precepts. I was startled by the solemn warning given at the door of the lodge that there
would be nothing light nor trifling in the ceremonies of initiation, but that all would be
profoundly significant and should receive reverent attention. No thoughtful man can
pass through the degrees of Masonry without having his mind at some time hushed in
awe, and being made to feel something as Moses must have felt when commanded to
take his shoes off his feet for the place on which he stood was holy ground.
Not only is the name of God revered and the Holy Scriptures held sacred, but human
life is reverenced. Man is a Master Builder erecting a temple for God, the plans for the
perfecting of which are drawn in the holy place where God dwells. The search for light
and truth is conducted as for the most sacred treasure. The attitude of Masonry is
fittingly expressed by Mrs. Browning:
"Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God."
He who has well learned the teachings and spirit of Masonry is a reverent man. He does
not use carelessly the name of God, nor treat harshly or lightly aught of His creation.
In this attitude of reverence toward man and his life task, toward the great mysteries of
life and the universe, toward God and the Holy scriptures, Masonry speaks a message
that our American people need to have emphasized often and forcibly. Irreverence is
one of our national sins, as a people we profane the name of God because we are
ignorant of forceful language to express ourselves. We disregard the Sacred Book that
bears to mankind the revelation of God. We jest over the great mysteries of life and
death. We treat lightly the holy ties of home and parental authority. We amaze the
people of Europe by the lightness with which we break the marriage bond.
May not Masonry render a national service by carrying the reverence of the lodge room
into the daily life so that in all our language and bearing there may be an atmosphere
that will rebuke irreverence and help make all life and all social relations more sacred.
EDWARD JAMES LOCKWOOD, 32d Iowa.
— o —
I feel the soul of a mighty God,
As it vibrates through aeons of time,
And it spreads o'er the earth with a masterful touch
Of peace that is grand and sublime.
I feel the life of the universe,
As it throbs in each passing breeze,
I hear it and see it reflected back
From all the flowers and trees.
I feel this life in my human heart
Rebound with a joyful love,
As it leaps to the tune of a raptured thrill,
From the realms of the Father above.
I bask in its light as it wraps me around
With all its shimmer and sheen,
And the gracious earth is again adorned
With her mantle of yellow and green.
I hear the sound of the distant wave
As it blends with the ocean's roar;
So blends the music of my heart
With the God that we all adore.
And though I am merely an atom in space
That swings by the light of the sun,
I can but rejoice and be happy and free,
For the Father and I are one.
- Arthur B. Rugg, Minn.
THY LOYAL GUARD
Guard well the citadel
Of noble thoughts and high impulse
That ne'er a cov'tous foe lurking in ambuscade
Steal in upon thee.
Keep well the lofty tower
Of friendship, true and unafraid
That traitors, aye ! nor sycophants
Beguile thee in their wiles.
Protect thy loyal guard
Who watchful and alert
Do trust thy aims, obey thy word
In all unquestioning faith.
- Mary G. Gross.